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$575M crypto Ponzi scheme gets two men jailed

Could you have avoided this heinous crypto Ponzi scheme scam? Find out if you’re target material, and how to fix it.

Crypto coins with law mallet representing coinbase

Another day, another crypto scam revealed. Call me a Luddite disruptophobe, but I like having rules surrounding what money I have. And as evil as banking institutions can be, I at least know where I stand with them, even if that’s only because I was awake in ‘08.

This time, the play run by Messrs, Sergei Potapenko, and Ivan Turõgin was like a quick-change act of a crime, evolving at every step to keep people from withdrawing and funneling more marks in.

They pivoted from ‘we’re selling mining equipment,’ except it was crappy pre-used stuff to ‘we’re making our own mining biz and you’ll get a percentage, and then again to create a fake virtual currency bank (how is that not counter to the whole point of…nevermind).

These crypto schemes were fueled through a combo of shell companies, uninvestigated press releases, and of course…people blinded by dollar signs. What interests me most is that it went on for over four years. It makes me wonder if people who invest without already being wealthy actually like having money at all.

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I have to ask, one Cautious Carla to the rest of you Daring Dinesh-es. When you invest, whether it’s in crypto, traditional business, or even property – how is it that you’re conducting your research?

Have you looked at a physical location in person? Have you done any cursory research on the state of the market for a certain product?

Have you got a good handle on what a press release published on a site that will aggregate anything that breathes looks like versus one that’s been vetted by career journalists who fact-check, build a relationship with the people they’re writing about, and have skin in the game as far as their reputation if the ship goes down?

Have you checked the LinkedIn profiles of the people the company says are working there? Have you got an hour to watch the video I just linked in the previous sentence, because if you don’t have time, frankly, make time – it’s a great look into how very basic googling can up a whole ecosystem of truths.

Have you given any thought to the fact that institutions can and do run several rounds of investing, so that even if you spent an entire year looking into where your money is going, you’ll still have the opportunity, no matter what someone fast talking you might imply?

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Have you taken the time to really sit with any interviews or ads you’ve seen so you can break down what they are and aren’t saying?

Even if these sorts of things are paywalled, you know full well that access to a study is only going to be a fraction of the cash these types of hucksters are asking you for.

I play it safe with my money and just put it all into shoes and repairs on the truck, but even though I don’t have the stomach for the gussied-up gambling that is investing, I don’t like seeing hardworking people get flimflammed. I urge everyone to look into things like how to do research on any topic and how weasel words and statistics can be used to tell tall tales. Then once you have a handle on the best parts of media/stats analysis, you can get into how to research investments specifically.

These are the things you’ll need to be able to suss out before you sink a ton of money into something that’s not guaranteed to make your cash back in any given amount of time or even in the first place, even with the best morals and the brightest minds behind them.

Stay thirsty for knowledge my friends.

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Emily Drewry is the Web Producer at The American Genius. She holds two Business degrees in Digital Marketing & Advertising as well as Sales Management. She resides in the sunny Orlando, FL and embodies the heart of hospitality. When not working on web projects, she's probably at a theme park or thrifting her next trendy piece, iced coffee in hand.

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