Police in Hong Kong say that another eighty alleged victims of the MyCoin scam have come forward. Now as many as 150 investors are reporting to have fallen victim, according to the South China Morning Post.
The alleged victims comprise sixty from Hong Kong and ninety from elsewhere, mostly from mainland China and Taiwan.
Total losses may be as high as HK$150 million ($19.5 million). When the story first broke about one month ago, it was feared that investors may have lost as much as HK$1 billion ($390 million). The total figure is still way off, but may grow as more investors come forward.
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Apparently, the syndicate behind the scam invested much to make it appear legitimate. It hosted events, one of which featured international investment guru Jim Rogers, which provided abundant entertainment. Singer Wu Bai performed at one such event. It has reportedly hosted at luxury hotels, including during a road show in Macau last August.
James To Kun-sun, a Democratic Party legislator who has been working with victims and the police, said, “The packaging is very intelligent, colorful and authoritative. Even people who think they are smart would fall into the trap… I have rarely seen such a tactic as this in 20 years or so as a legislator.”
Investors were reportedly promised that for every investment of 90 bitcoins, they will receive 219 one year later (which, depending on your entry point, may not be such a grand promise; bitcoin did lose over 70% of its value last year).
Last week it was reported that five suspects in the scheme were arrested and more arrests are possible.