Fake cryptocurrency advice and real scammer: a youtuber stole 4 million euros from its subscribers
Under the guise of advice, the YouTube channel “Crypto Gouv” is said to have defrauded between 200 and 300 people. The Paris public prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation.
The Good Samaritan who gave advice on investing in cryptocurrency was a scammer. Videos recounting the scam have been thriving on YouTube for three weeks. “Crypto Gouv”, a channel where Internet users sought advice on investments in cryptocurrencies, is said to have been the origin of a money theft from his community. The damage amounts to 4 million euros, according to a source familiar with the matter.
In a few months, the YouTuber, whose identity is unknown, brought together 4,000 subscribers with whom he exchanged daily messages on Telegram or Discord. Trust is built between Crypto Gouv and its aspiring investors through the advice provided. He offers them to meet in “pools” to invest groups together and asks them to trust him with their funds. The promised returns are substantial. In no time the fraud is threaded. “Investors have placed hundreds of euros, others several tens of thousands of euros‘ confided the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Maître Jérémy Asta-Vola, to France Inter.
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A video reveals the scam
Not without cynicism, on July 9, Crypto Gouv announced on its usual chat channels that it would disappear with the funds. “It’s as if you trusted an investment advisor with an amount and they just went with your money.‘ explains Me Asta-Vola. In what seems to be a recent tutorial posted on Youtube and now untraceable, he tells the downside of this scam in detail. According to France Inter, the investigation launched in mid-July by the Paris public prosecutor’s office was entrusted to the gendarmes of the research department. About 40 people have filed complaints, but up to 300 people are said to have been affected.
The scammer faces up to five years in prison, as he himself recalls in his latest video. With a market that is attracting more and more people, you need to watch out for cryptocurrency scams that are on the rise. “There is a mass audience interested in these practices. Inevitably, some malicious individuals see this as an opportunity‘ warns Jérémy Asta-Vola. A Discord server has been set up to help victims, and the lawyer announced the creation of an association to “educate and assist” victims of fraud in their efforts.
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