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Thousands of Pakistanis wanting quick money lose Rs1 billion

A new online scam unearthed

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 weeks ago
Posted: Dec 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 weeks ago

Thousands of online investors in Pakistan thought they were making a quick buck from the comforts of their home. The app promised that they only had to bet on whether Bitcoin’s price will go up or come down to earn a profit.

The simplicity of the scheme was too alluring to resist. But, in reality, they were becoming victims of an online fraud and on December 19, they lost almost Rs1 billion of their hard-earned life savings.

The scam

The scam started with an app called “HFC Pak Trading App.” Those willing to invest were asked to download the app. Then, investors would have to convert fiat money into cryptocurrency through Binance or any other digital money changer. The cryptocurrency would then be deposited into investors’ HFC account.

There would be four 5-minute-long trading sessions in a day where investors had to bet whether Bitcoin’s price will go up of come down.

Those who invested money were also added to groups on Telegram, a heavily-encrypted messaging app.

“An analyst made a Telegram group with about 40000 members. These people invested money between $30 and $50,000. They were also given tips by the analyst,” said a victim of this scam who wished to remain anonymous.

Those who invested initially made some profit. Boosted by it, they referred the scheme to their friends. The app offered incentive to those who bring more investors.

The victim said that even if people haven’t invested anything but referred the scheme to their five friends who are investing and trading, then they can make money without investing anything.

“This encouraged people and we saw many videos of parties thrown by people in hotels where they invited their friends to invest in HFC,” he said.

But, on December 19, the app crashed, and those who invested lost every penny.

$10 million siphoned

A cryptocurrency expert told SAMAA TV that the almost $10m have been siphoned from users in this scam.

“In cryptocurrency, every wallet has details. We have scanned their wallet and found that there are $10m in it,” said the expert.

All transactions have been done through HFC Pak and now, the money is being transferred to different wallets.

Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Zone Sindh’s head Imran Riaz told SAMAA TV that victims have started filing complaints.

But this is not the only company which defrauded people. HT Fox and Royal Worldwide have also scammed people using similar schemes.

“People started contacted me through social media. They said that HFC and HT Fox have scammed many people,” said Riaz.

Some victims hail from Sukkur and Hyderabad and there are around 12000 people who lost their money in this scheme.

FIA has requested victims to come forwards and launch complaints.

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11 Comments

  1. Asad Mansoor  December 26, 2021 8:21 am/ Reply

    So what the govt’s duty in this regard, just to sit and let the scammers play their games and keep enjoying every one patting each saying see how cleaver they, “very good son, keep going on.”
    Don’t you ever think they are enemy of our society and country, both. Because they are for money only for which they can cross every limit. Even they can trait their country and even sell their mother, sister, father and family etc. So see where they and we are going.
    Their id cards, sims, and social media accounts should be blocked and black listed for any govt’s post plus witnesses in court and other places. Plus heavy fines, jailed and confiscation of any property and valuables.
    THAT’S ALL.

    • Shayan  December 27, 2021 10:24 am/ Reply

      Govt has already asked people not to invest in crypto bcz there is no on that guarantees its value but still people do on their own . I think crypto is not even legal yet in pak

  2. Muhammad Rafeh  December 26, 2021 9:53 am/ Reply

    please tell us UG website schame in news

  3. NavidurRehman  December 26, 2021 2:01 pm/ Reply

    Hfc looted lot of young people from Malakand also

  4. faysal  December 26, 2021 6:12 pm/ Reply

    must have a look on “Bizzcoin” a leading scam nowadays in Pakistan

    • Malik  December 27, 2021 3:10 pm/ Reply

      I was also invited by someone to invest in htfox. I already knewed that it would turn out to be scam. So I never did, and also told him that not to invest but they were blinded by the dreams or free money without doing anything.

  5. Adnan khan  December 26, 2021 8:08 pm/ Reply

    Aiminers.co is also online fraud company.

  6. HW  December 27, 2021 2:57 pm/ Reply

    Sounds like binary options. Binaries, while mostly unregulated, cannot be considered a scam. 8nvestors beed to be aware of the risks involved before going into any investment vehicle.

    Sounds like the “scammer” simply took advantage of the law of probabilities whereby the majority made the wrong bets.

  7. Jack  December 27, 2021 11:16 pm/ Reply

    It is only greed that makes you fall in their trap. Betting is not investment, it is gambling. Gambling is only for cheaters and those who want to be cheated. Please stay away from making a fast buck.

  8. Kamran Malik  December 28, 2021 5:57 am/ Reply

    amazing! and very interesting to hear about these Ponzi schemes. this is great work done with Pakistanis nobs, where’s everyone want to a millionaire without doing something. take a great lesson from these stories and don’t invest in the wrong things. beta

  9. Henry  December 28, 2021 9:13 am/ Reply

    Govt should proactively find a solution to this problem. These scams may happen again and again. There should be some sort of certification from governments to investment schemes that people can trust upon.

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