Terabytes have been written about the modus operandi of major crypto scams involving Bitconnect, GainBitcoin, OneCoin and others. And the latest in this space seems to be the WhatsApp scams with zero checks and balances. India has literally become a hotbed of crypto frauds thriving on the messenger app, given the spurt in the number of users which the country has added in the past 18 months and their questionable activities.
In China, a similar modus operandi was popular in 2018 and 2019 when many ‘crypto’ entities migrated to WeChat to escape probe agencies. In India, starting from August 2021 (it’s the earliest WhatsApp group with suspicious activities that Inc42 can trace), hundreds of WhatsApp groups have been set up by pseudonyms who act like BTC (Bitcoin) investment analysts and lure people by guaranteeing 95-100% returns.
As various members of Inc42 have been added to at least 30+ such groups, we think it is high time to dive deep and find out what these WhatsApp groups are up to.
Inside The Dark World That Promises Gold
It all started in August this year. I was added to three WhatsApp groups called BTC Fortune VIP16_001, BTC Get Rich VIP10_001 and BTC Get Rich VIP10. Quite a few of my colleagues were also added to similar groups, but the end numbers varied. There was no initial conversation as to why I was added to a group of unknown people or who were running those groups. No permission was sought, either.
After speaking to my networks and colleagues, I…