(Bloomberg) -- Members of Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum were targeted in a probable cryptocurrency scam that could have left its victims with at least $2 million in losses.
Using the Telegram messaging service, an account called “WallStreetBets - Crypto Pumps” offered users the chance to buy a new token known as WSB Finance before it was listed on crypto exchanges, in what is referred to as a pre-mine sale. The account isn’t affiliated with the infamous stock message board.
Conditions are ripe for coaxing buyers to send money, no questions asked, with the promise of cashing in on the latest cryptocurrency boom. So-called alt-coins are posting daily gains that can exceed 1,000% and there are few obstacles to stop nefarious individuals creating tokens to pitch as the next hot thing in the digital investing frontier.
The account running the sale told users to send Binance Coin, known as BNB, or Ether to a cryptocurrency wallet and then to contact its “token bot” on Telegram to receive WSB Finance coins.
Those coins were never delivered. A second message then went out on Telegram telling those that had already sent payment that because of a problem with the bot, they’d have to send an equal amount again or they would lose their initial investment.
Now thousands of people are taking to Telegram to voice their regrets and try and track down the person or persons behind the account.
More than 3,451 Binance Coin tokens were removed Tuesday from the wallet listed in the Crypto Pumps messages, according to data from BscScan, a validator on the Binance Smart Chain, a blockchain network that runs so-called smart-contract applications. At Binance Coin’s current price of $625, that comes to more than $2.1 million and doesn’t account for any Ether the account may have been sent.
Binance didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
WallStreetBets moderators posted two weeks ago to beware of offers that might try to use the forum’s name as a way of attracting an audience. That thread is currently pinned at the top of the forum.
The “WallStreetBets - Crypto Pumps” account has since been deleted from Telegram, but whoever controlled it left those waiting on their payouts with a clue as to where there funds were going:
“Buying lambo now.”
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