Welcome to the second episode of my Greatest Scams of All time series. If you didn't read the first episode about FCoin, here's the link for you to read
4) USI TECH
USI Tech was a "Dubai-based cryptocurrency and forex platform trading provider, suspected to be a High-yield investment program and a Ponzi scheme."
High Yield Investment Programs (HYIPs) promises you returns that are unheard of and most times unbelievable. The main aim is to tap into your greed and get you to drop that money or Crypto to try and get rich quick. When you carry out you research most times you find out that HYIPs are unrealistic and just what they are SCAMS. Just like many other scams before them, the brains behind USI Tech very well disguised and covered up the ownership of the company that even till today, the real owners have not been found. There are a lot of suspects and different reports of the owners, but no one is truly sure.
One Blogger believes that;
"What we do know is that Joao Severino and Ralf Gold founded the project. Before starting USI Tech, Severino was banned from all financial activity in Portugal because of his involvement with another scam company called AMC Invest. Even worse, Ralph Gold had been involved in all sort of Ponzi scheme companies. These included AdsProfitReward, MX Fast Money, World Consumer Alliance, HourlyRevShare, AdsProfitWiz, APR Clicks, and Upper Game."
Another writer believes that,
"USI Tech was initially promoted by a core group that included Lee Oakey, Kerry Stockton, Rodney Burton, and Michael Faust. Oakey and Stockton are British expats living in Australia. Rodney Burton is the infamous "Bitcoin Rodney" that famously purchased a Lamborghini with bitcoin, leading to the "lambo" memes that have since arisen. He is a convicted felon and has served time in prison for drug dealing-related offenses"
I was not into Crypto in 2017 when the scam took place, but if I was, research into their supposed leadership showing that they all were former criminals would have been a big red flag for me. When the head is corrupt, the body will succumb to evil too, and you can't expect anything good to come out of it. So now we have established that from its head and it's supposed leaders, the USI Tech project was corrupt and one scam, of many by the founders, waiting to defraud people of their hard earned money. So now let's delve into how they scammed members of the public.
Like I previously said, USI Tech was founded in the year 2017. It was in the middle of the famous ICO bubble and while many people were becoming millionaires with little or no investment, scammers were also having a swell time defrauding unsuspecting members of the public in search for quick money of their hard earned life savings. While many made a fortune from the ICO bubble, many also lost all they had to wicked and heartless scammers.
One of USI's earliest and initial promoters was a man named Dan Putnam. He was seen a lot boasting as to how a small investment of less than $100 was sure to make newcomers into crypto-millionaires easily. USI sold users "packages" that were promoted as having a guaranteed 140% ROI over the course of 140 days (who the hell does that). The packages could be "bought" for around $50 USD (50 euros, actually), and then they used the classic Ponzi scheme claim that "the more you bought, the higher return you would receive". If you know anything about Ponzi schemes them you would know that only early adopters received this reward as a way to convince and generate new user sign ups. The reward was to incentivize the new users to share their referral code so more people could buy into the scam and they would be able to extract more millions from investors. A handful of states called USI Tech a scam, some include;
The Texas State Securities Board on Dec. 20 2017 issued a cease and desist order as neither USI-Tech nor the sales agents were registered to sell securities in the state.
The New Brunswick Government on Dec,21 2017 alerted consumers against investing at USI-Tech, and to contact authorities if approached to invest in the company.
On 12 January 2018, the Attorney General of Guam issued a statement advising people to exercise caution when investing at USI Tech.
The Government of Saskatchewan on 20th January 2018 issued a Cease Trade Order for USI Tech warning them to stop trading in the state.
On 9 April 2018, the Spanish financial regulator Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores added USI-Tech to its warning list of unauthorised firms and entities.
On 16 August 2018, the Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand updated its warning list to include USI Tech, warning that the operators have the makings of a scam.
In the end when the USI Tech team saw that the game was up, they packed up and vanished just like that with hundreds of millions of dollars of investors funds. Many were left heartbroken and penny less. I do not tell these stories because they make for interesting reads, I tell them so that we all can learn and not fall for them again. I sure hope someone has learnt something today. Bye guys