Investors in the ICO of a project called Seele have been scammed, allegedly by two Seele employees, according to a report in Steemit. The scammers made $2 million worth of ETH by asking people to send them money.
Two accounts listed as approved admins of the Seele Telegram group used the messaging service to solicit ETH payments from members of the public who had joined the group, ostensibly for a private sale. The actual ICO has not yet begun.
Seele responded to the surfacing complaints with this message:
“We are deeply sorry for the problem caused by the “@seelesupport” and “@nicsmith” scammer and are taking full responsibility for it. We care about our community and are taking all necesarry precuations to prevent something like this from happening again.
It appears as due to the intentional deceiving of the “@nicsmith” and “@seelesupport” scammer by impersonating one of our own team members, some people from our community have lost funds. We are herby acknowledging the situation and confirm that we will find solution to make the situation right for all community members who have lost funds due to this problem.”
It is also urging people not to send any money to anyone requesting it, and has pinned a scam warning in the Telegram group.
⚠ *URGENT* ⚠
‼ INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WITH PRIVATE SALE INQUIRES ‼
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PLEASE HALT COMMUNICATIONS AND DO NOT SEND ANYTHING TO SEELESUPPORT AND NICHOLAS SMITH. THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND OUT TO BOTH BE SCAMMERS AND ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH SEELE IN ANYWAY ANYMORE. #Seele pic.twitter.com/8MKaSybyA8
— Maximillian (@MaxiMillian0638) February 4, 2018
The Ethereum address that holds the funds has been identified, not that that will help anyone.
Seele claims that the Telegram account was compromised. A report from website bitsonline.com notes that the users ‘SeeleSupport’ and ‘nicsmith’ were approved admins (Dr. Nicholas Smith is Seele’s data analyst), and so some suspect that this scam was more official than Seele is letting on. It also notes that a Google search of the address behind the Seele URL, ‘YuMing@YinSiBaoHu.AliYun.com’, indicates that this address has been connected to scams in the past.
What is Seele? Really…what is it?
Seele, German for ‘soul’, describes itself as “Bitcoin 4.0”. Meaning, 1.0 is Bitcoin, 2.0 is Ethereum/smart contracts, 3.0 is Bitcoin payment upgrades that speed up the system such as the Lightning Network, and 4.0 does all of these things and more.
In terms of techno-babble, the blurb on the Seele landing page is really unsurpassed:
“Seele is powered by an up-scalable Neural Consensus protocol for high throughput concurrency among large scale heterogeneous nodes and is able to form a unique heterogeneous forest multi-chain ecosystem.”
What does this mean in English? I looked through the whitepaper to reassure myself, but to be honest, I found it very vague and was not really convinced. One of the key points of the system is what it calls the “Heterogeneous Forest Network”, meaning that all blockchains will take part in one larger blockchain, the “Meta chain”.
Perhaps Seele is the first step towards a kind of Asimov-style Multivac, perhaps not. Either way, people would be well-advised to remember that the common sense that we use in the real world applies to cryptocurrency too – if somebody that you don’t know contacts you and asks you to give them money… don’t.