A scammer has managed to steal €100 million ($119 million) from investors in Turkey by promising massive returns from Dogecoin mining. The online pseudonym “Turgut V” was identified by the police, who believe he is behind the scheme, according to local news channel TV100.
It is reported that Turgut V and his 11 associates managed to gather almost 350 million Dogecoin valued at $119 million from 1,500 people before disappearing in thin air without a warning. NTV, a Turkish broadcaster, said Turgut V convinced investors through Zoom calls and at in-person networking meetings at privileged locations, to buy Dogecoin and hand them over to invest in mining technology, promising them huge returns. Reports said investors were told they would see a 100% return in 40 days.
One victim said the system was working well for three months and early investors said they received the returns as promised. But after the scheme peaked at 350 million Dogecoin after four months, the funds were said to have disappeared out of thin air. The victims were told that the Dogecoin they sent would buy new equipment to mine DOGE.
An investigation to find Turgut and the 11 associates is underway by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Istanbul suburb of Küçükçekmece. Turkish authorities have also issued an order to bar Turgut and his partner Gizem N. from leaving the country.
A Little About Dogecoin
Dogecoin was inspired by the popular ‘doge’ meme. It was developed by Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, two software engineers who worked for IBM and Adobe respectively in 2013. Dogecoin is currently the seventh largest cryptocurrency. Although it is now one of the most valuable cryptos, it was originally created as a parody of Bitcoin.
Dogecoins are made through a system called Proof of Work mining, the same system used by Bitcoin. Proof of Work means miners are compensated with coins in exchange for validating transactions and by solving equations to build the next block.