Telegram Booth Groups: How investors are lured into risky investments

Operation Mega Yield starts on a Thursday in early February. “Wait for the big win,” was the full announcement. “I recommend everyone to take part.” The moderator of a Telegram group has unique plans that evening: together with his followers of a good 5,600 members of the messenger service, he wants to invest heavily in a cryptocurrency on to boost the price. According to the moderator, users are guaranteed a handsome return if they wait for his sell signal. After just 17 minutes it says: “SELL SELL SELL!!!”

“We broke the market,” he says happily and thanks his colleagues. In retrospect, it is no longer possible to determine which cryptocurrency the illustrious community chose for its campaign. References to this were removed from the group – so that later investors do not invest money and lose it, it is said.

What is happening in this Telegram group is not uncommon. For example, in numerous “pump and dump” groups, users meet to drive up the price of a cryptocurrency or a share, i.e., pump it up (“pump”), and then sell it with high profits (“dump” means in English). As much as throw away, dispose of). The betrayal: clueless or naive investors are attracted by the excessive rise in prices and lose money. Market manipulation appears to be an acceptable pastime for some Telegram users.

Telegram has long since offered a wide-ranging platform not only to lateral thinkers and extremists. In the meantime, the messenger service has become a popular contact point for manipulators and windy financial jugglers. User interest is high. Some groups have millions of members. The masterminds shower them with dubious purchase recommendations, offer them questionable personal loans or even lure them into fraudulent pyramid schemes.

Focus on mini cryptocurrencies

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority also points out that social networks such as Telegram are becoming a problem. She recently warned private investors not to be blinded by tips on Bitcoin and Co. in particular. In fact, in many groups, Bitcoin is unilaterally presented as a profitable investment. The fact that high losses can also accompany cryptocurrencies is often downplayed.

However, in their pump-and-dump operations, the power brokers are less focused on the major cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s market cap is around $820 billion. For price-moving transactions, you would need an ample Bitcoin supply. For this reason, campaigns are primarily aimed at low-capitalized digital currencies with a stock market value in the single or double-digit million ranges.

Dodgy crypto projects are also advertised via Telegram. For example, the HyperVerse network, which recently appeared under HyperFund, is causing a stir. Financial regulators around the world warn against investing in the project. WirtschaftsWoche reported on this last year.

The high return prospects are now attracting many people. The investment is expected to double within a short time. The increase in value is based on remaining open – just like the background of the companies that initiated the project.

Critics warn that HyperVerse could be a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme relies on more and more users investing their money. It is the only way investors who have already invested can be paid their apparent returns. Ponzi schemes collapse when no new members (and no more money) are added. Whether HyperVerse is a pyramid scheme can only be said with certainty when it is too late.

Personal loans up to 700,000 euros

The Squid Game token caused a stir in November last year. The cryptocurrency was modeled after the Netflix hit series, in which people compete in children’s games to win millions – and get killed if they lose.

The price of the Squid Game token grew from $0.01 to $2856 within two weeks – an increase in value of 28,559,900 percent. But the investors suffered a total loss because the initiators made off with around three million dollars in investor money. They had advertised the coin primarily on social networks and with messengers – like Telegram. Launching your crypto token is relatively easy. Scammers know that too. They use Telegram chats to promote their coin among investors and then use their investment funds.

Telegram sees itself as a yield oracle and a credit institution substitute. In several groups, tens of thousands of users are offered loans for their own homes, a fancy cars, or whatever else the consumer’s heart desires.

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