Episode #1, Season 4 of Phishy Business: The Billion Dollar Cryptocurrency Scam
In this first episode of the season, we take a look at what has been called the smartest and biggest scam of the 21st century, OneCoin, a cryptocurrency that brought in $4 billion in investments via multi-level marketing and proved to be nothing but a scheme that made one woman who is still on the run very rich.
This wasn’t a backroom con, but in fact, was perpetrated by a woman whose adoring fans filled an arena two years after OneCoin’s founding, and whose con took money from millions of people. Our special guest is Jamie Bartlett, author of The Missing Cryptoqueen: The Billion Dollar Cryptocurrency Con and the Woman Who Got Away with It, a book that started out as a podcast in which Jaime tells the all-too-true tale of Dr. Ruja Ignatova, the Oxford-educated fugitive who got away with billions.
In ‘The Billion Dollar Cryptocurrency Scam’ we discuss:
- How Jamie discovered this amazing story after presenting his findings following an investigation into drug sales on the Dark Web and was approached by a fellow journalist who was propositioned with this too-good-to-be-true cryptocurrency scam.
- A little background on cryptocurrency, its history, and how it works, as well as how Dr. Ruja presented a story and a cryptocurrency that was so appealing to so many people.
- How cryptocurrencies currently make ideal attack vectors for scammers.
- How FOMO is a very powerful tool in the cybercriminal arsenal and how it worked for Dr. Ruja.
- Why most people’s murky understanding of the tech behind cryptocurrency allowed the alleged victims to be more easily duped by Dr. Ruja and her real and impressive credentials
- Why cries of OneCoin being a Ponzi scheme from the very beginning went unheeded by investors and regulators.
- How a simple selfie posted on social media can reveal a treasure trove of information for investigators…and for cybercriminals.
- If the promises of a product or service sound too good to be true, they probably are.