Uganda crypto scam targets investors and employees

A cryptocurrency firm in Uganda has closed its offices abruptly, making off with money from dozens of investors as well as it employees. The firm had promised its investors huge returns for investing in its crypto products—only to flee with their money.

Known as Dunamiscoin Resources Limited, the firm was based in Masaka, a town 80 miles to the southwest of the capital Kampala. According to local news outlet Daily Monitor, the company opened its offices last month and started enrolling clients to their digital currency network.

Dunamiscoin used an extensive network of employees and local mobile money agents to reach out to investors. The report revealed that the firm had at least 50 employees, working as marketing executives, cashiers, receptionists and more.

Employees were asked to open accounts with the firm and make an investment into its digital currency. One of the former employees revealed that they had to pay UGX 20,000 ($5.4).

He was quoted by the news outlet saying, “They told me it would help me a lot. They said they would give me a job. I went to their offices in Kampala for an interview. They then convinced me to invest some money with them saying I would get it back with high interest in dollars.”

The company on-boarded clients by making them promises of huge returns if they invested in its digital currency. According to the report, the company promised up to 40% return on cash deposits for the customers.

Last week, the employees and the investors alike learned the company had cleared its offices and the operators had made off with the money.

Authorities in the town have promised to pursue the fraudsters. The District Commissioner called for vigilance from the residents, stating, “I have ordered surveillance on this office such that we determine what’s happening. In the meantime, I call upon people who have been defrauded by these people to report to security agencies or my office such that the law takes its course. I also call upon Ugandans to be vigilant.”

Uganda has been welcoming of crypto and blockchain technology. Earlier this year, the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni backed the use of blockchain to tackle counterfeit drugs. The country also revealed this year that it’s conducting research on cryptos in a bid to regulate them.

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