Cryptocurrency scam dismantled with 20,000 victims in Japan

Key facts:

The “Oz project” offered to multiply the investment by 2.5 in just 4 months.

The investments would have been captured in local currency, not in cryptocurrencies.

Japan is the scene of the most recent crash of an alleged cryptocurrency scam scheme. It is a platform that offered supposed returns on investment with supposed crypto assets, based on a trading system with artificial intelligence.

The incident occurred in Aichi prefecture, where four people allegedly linked to the scam were captured, referred to as “a fictitious investment story”. This is stated by the words of the Aichi police reported in local media this Monday, July 12.

In total, the suspects would have managed to capture some 6 billion yen (just under $ 55 million) from more than 20,000 victims. The returns offered by the so-called “Oz project” reached 100% of the amount invested, reported Asahi Shumbum Digital.

According to local reports, those captured are Yukihiro Yamashita, Takuya Hashiyada, Masamichi Toshima and Shoji Ishida. Although they do not specify it, the latter seems to be the highest ranking within the scheme, since it is attributed the investment return offers, which also included multiply by 2.5 in just four months the money deposited.

Regarding the recruitment of victims, it is noted that a “request manager” held events and meetings to promote the platform and promoted the creation of a group on the LINE social network for that purpose.

Apparently, many investors in turn captured other people, which exponentially increased the scope of the scam. Since at least September 2019, people affected by the “Oz project” began to file lawsuits in the city of Nagoya.

It is unknown to which cryptocurrencies the funds stolen from those affected correspond or if, on the contrary, investments were made in fiat currency. Although that information is not clear in the reports, it seems that it is the second scenario.

Other cryptocurrency scams

Scams like this are rare in Japanese history. If we go back to April 2018, CriptoNoticias reported the arrest of 7 people linked to the theft of 2 million dollars in bitcoin.

In that case, the scam occurred with the alleged purchase of 200 million yen in bitcoin, which a businessman sent to a scammers’ wallet. When they handed over the yen in cash, most of the money was fake.

Meanwhile, in China there have been big scams linked to the world of cryptocurrencies. Especially if we refer to fraudulent schemes like WoToken and PlusToken, which are among the biggest bitcoin and other cryptocurrency scams in history.

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