Director of Criminal Investigations Mohamed Amin has issued a red alert over an influx of online cryptocurrency scamming schemes that have seen some Kenyans lose their hard-earned cash to fraudsters.
In a statement on Wednesday, Amin said his office has noted increased reports where scores are being lured to join online cryptocurrency investment platforms and end up losing their investments.
“We are currently investigating several such cases where investors who fell for the scam are crying foul,” he said.
In the grand scheme of things, potential investors are hoodwinked through short messages (SMS) reading “Make Money Sitting At Home” with a promise for high returns.
The message is sent to random recipients with a link to join the online investment platform.
Amin said the allure of potentially cashing in huge profits has lured many into the fraudulent scheme.
“With promises of high margins of profit as returns on investment, unsuspecting victims venture into the schemes and before they realise it, they have lost huge sums of money to scammers,” he said.
The DCI boss advised Kenyans wishing to invest in cryptocurrency to conduct due diligence before venturing into the business.
“The DCI cautions Kenyans and any other person to beware of this scam, and advises them to verify the authenticity of any online investment platforms with Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Communication Authority (CA) respectively,” he said.
Cryptocurrency is any form of currency that exists digitally or virtually and uses tokens stored in digital wallets.
Cryptocurrencies have no regulating authority or centralised system to record transactions and issue new tokens.
Practically, if you own cryptocurrency, you don’t own anything tangible.
What you own is a key that allows you to move tokens or units of measure from one person to another without a trusted third party.
“Should you have information on anyone using this approach to scam investors, please contact us through the DCI toll-free hotline 0800722203,” Amin said.