Nigeria is one of the top countries when it comes to online scamming and a worldwide phenomenon like Bitcoin couldn’t go unnoticed here. According to a report from Bloomberg, the African country for cryptocurrencies actually began with a scam, back in 2015.
Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox is a Ponzi scheme which managed to rope in millions of Nigerians, until the end of 2016, as they were promised 30 percent returns in as little as 30 days.
Finally, after the Government discovered this, the operators cut the banks out from the scheme, thus starting one of the biggest Bitcoin scams. They were requiring victims to use the coin, in order to avoid the intermediary, and by the time the payouts were suspended, almost 3 million of citizens were robbed.
But how does this work?
A lot of them were convinced that Bitcoin was the future, despite not understanding how it works. Traders started flooding the country’s exchanges, as well as messaging apps and the streets, promising people a lot of money, then disappearing after taking them.
To go a bit into details, the target was asked to send naira, the country’s currency, in exchange for Bitcoin. And the scammers were convincing, as they were using details of real traders, while others were making offers for Billion Coin or other fictive cryptocurrencies.
In order to avoid this, a group of traders set up an informal exchange on Telegram, trading cryptocurrency just among them, allowing them to easily avoid Bitcoin scams. When somebody new asked to join the group, their IDs and banking documents were carefully verified.
The founder of the group, Bashir Aminu, digital security expert and Bitcoin enthusiasts, even held the buyers’ money in escrow, until the transfers were completed.
The network is expanding!
What started as a small group kept growing for the past year, counting now almost 800 members who are interested in safe and secure cryptocurrency trading.
Like expected, a lot of similar networks appeared, with similar security measures, in order to avoid Bitcoin scams. People are now meeting face-to-face and offer hard cash, after watching the seller making the Bitcoin transfer on a phone.
But this doesn’t mean that scammers don’t attempt to enter such groups. However, they don’t have any chances, but as soon as they prove they’re untrustworthy, they are immediately removed.