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CryptoEats: The start-up scam that hoodwinked influencers and stole $500,000

A cryptocurrency scam that was based around the launch of a new takeaway delivery service has cost investors hundreds of thousands of pounds.

It’s hardly surprising to see that speculative investment in a new cryptocurrency has once again left investors empty-handed, but this particular scam was more elaborate than most.

Red more: What is cryptocurrency?

At first, CryptoEats seemed like a genuine company, replete with logos, T-shirts, and the approval of certain social media influencers, and was supposedly a cryptocurrency-fuelled rival to the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Yet in reality, the only takeaway in this operation was not chicken tikka masala or egg fried rice, but investor’s funds up to the tune of $500,000 (~£360,000).

Vice reports that the company had claimed before launch that it was partnered with Nando’s and McDonald’s, along with hundred of other restaurants, and had hired delivery drivers who were promised a guaranteed salary and pension contributions. It had even made unlikely boasts such as users being able to receive a coffee within five minutes of ordering, and that a driver could pick up several different items from different stores for you en route to making the delivery. All this was to be funded by an crypto token named ‘EATS’.

Unfortunately, this scam proved the old adage that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Shortly after throwing a launch event party, the enterprise sank without a trace; its website and all related social media pages were deleted and all the investors’ money was swiftly moved into different wallets.

Now the dust has settled and it’s clear that a scam has taken place, some of the influencers who promoted the fake business have since apologised for the apparently unwitting role that they played in promoting the “rugpull”:

The case of this scam will only amplify previous concerns that critics have had over the potentially harmful ramifications of cryptocurrency.

 

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