January 24, 20184min1025

Hyped ICO vanishes with millions

Benebit, one of this year’s most hyped up ICOs, has just vanished without a trace, leaving investors between $2.7 and 4 million out of pocket.

 


 

The scam came to light after someone noticed that the team photos had been stolen from a school website. Once this happened, Benebit ran for the exits, taking their investors’ funds with them.

The case is believed to be the largest ICO scam to date.

Benebit purported to bring loyalty programmes onto the blockchain. That probably seemed like a decent blockchain use case and the ICO platform had wide support. It had over 9,000 Telegram followers and a positive rating on ICO review sites.

As soon as the fraud surfaced though, those sites wasted no time in removing reviews or updating them to reflect the change of circumstances. Despite having previously green-lighted the project.

As of January 22, Benebit website went offline and most of the social media channels have been erased. Here is a cached version of their ICO page. On the surface, Benebit looked legit, having been active on Twitter for over a year and developed quite an active community.

Investors in the project unfortunately had no hesitation in investing their savings based solely on a promise, that will now never be delivered.

ICO was regarded as being a legitimate project, on account of the huge budget spent on marketing. As much as $500,000 is believed to have been spent on advertising the project.

ICO Bench had also listed Benebit on its site and the project had been given a user rating of 4.1 stars out of 5. Only for the entry to be quickly deleted when the scam came to light. According to the Benebit Telegram channel’s admin, the true entities behind the project are based in India.

He professes to have been as duped as much as everyone else, writing: “We were hired for community management. We had their CEO passport as proof of identity. Comes out it is also fake”.

The moral of this story is that you should never rely on ICO review sites or even social media influencers to research the ICO projects for you.

It’s about YOUR hard earned money So please remember to do your own research or simply be aware that you are taking a huge gamble. Adjust your investment size accordingly.

Some people lost 14 Bitcoin and 300 Ethereum on this scammy ICO. We just hope that this amount was something they were comfortable with losing.


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