It appears that rogue cryptocurrency OneCoin is again attracting attention for all the wrong reasons after a Londoner has accused its UK management of fleecing her of her life savings.
A Mrs Begum in her 30s went to a OneCoin event in Aldgate in London in 2016, and invested in the coin, but three years on is now unable to access her GBP 54,000 (USD 70,000) life savings.
OneCoin has been listed as a fraudulent cryptocurrency in the US, is on a warning list in New Zealand and currently its multi-level marketing scheme is the subject of a court case in Singapore. The Singapore Police have subsequently warned the public about the risks of being involved in OneCoin or any marketing schemes connected with it. In 2018 Chinese police made a swoop on a OneCoin operation there worth USD 266 million.
In London it appears that Begum fell foul of the company’s marketing, saying that after she had made a cash purchase, “I realized a few months in that there was no scheme.” She was told at a marketing event she would later be given tokens. The organizers of the event, which was attended by some 1,000 potential investors, told her that the earlier she made the investment the greater the payout, and she could gain a ranking by also bringing other investors on board.
In October of 2016, the investor was told that her coins had doubled in value and that the money was sitting in an account. After trying to cash in the investment she was told the following year that:
“No refunds will be made after the IMA [investor] has logged in to his/her account… By logging into his/her OneLife Network account it is considered that the IMA is accepting the terms and conditions and no refunds shall be made.”
It now appears that OneCoin has been accused of convincing people to pay tens of thousands of pounds to invest in the digital currency. Begum’s continual efforts to cash in her coins over three years have been met with complications which effectively keep her at arm’s length from her original investment.
The OneCoin organization claims that it is the second generation of cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and already had a huge following, and promised tremendous returns for investors. It is impossible to view the inner-workings of OneCoin without buying a non-refundable starter package such as was purchased in London.
When purchasing OneCoin a user receives tokens that have no value, and they can submit these tokens for “mining” where the tokens eventually become OneCoins. This isn’t true cryptocurrency mining where a user is rewarded for putting their computing power towards maintaining and securing the network. There is no evidence that OneCoin ever had a blockchain to maintain and secure, and the inner-workings of the “mining” process were secretive.
While the founders claim that they are creating 300 new millionaires a year, the US Department of Justice has called it “an old scam with a virtual twist”. An investigation into the company in the UK and allegations of fraud continue.
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