Crypto influencers allegedly weaponize conspiracies to fleece QAnon followers

Please fol­low and like us:
Pin Share

Two QAnon-affil­i­at­ed con­spir­a­cy the­o­rist influ­encers alleged­ly caused their fol­low­ers mil­lions of dol­lars in loss­es by run­ning a cryp­tocur­ren­cy pump-and-dump scheme.

The pair report­ed­ly per­suad­ed their thou­sands of fol­low­ers to invest in a port­fo­lio of cryp­tos, pre­sent­ing a mis­lead­ing mix of con­spir­a­to­r­i­al and gen­uine con­tent along with claims about insti­tu­tions back­ing the tokens to gen­er­ate hype and raise the price of the portfolio.

The alle­ga­tions are includ­ed in an inves­ti­ga­tion by Log­i­cal­ly, a group of data sci­en­tists and devel­op­ers. It report­ed the two influ­encers run­ning the Telegram chan­nels “WhipLash347” and the “Quan­tum Stel­lar Ini­tia­tive” (QSI) coor­di­nat­ed to pro­mote lists of Stel­lar (XLM) alt­coins which have been marked as fraud­u­lent by the Stel­lar network.

WhipLash347 is a Telegram group with 277,000 fol­low­ers and QSI has 35,000. They report­ed­ly told their fol­low­ers the cryp­tocur­ren­cies would suc­ceed based on their insid­er knowl­edge, claim­ing they had access to secret mil­i­tary intelligence.

The pub­li­ca­tion said the two mixed con­spir­a­to­r­i­al con­tent and mis­in­for­ma­tion to tar­get those dis­trust­ing of main­stream finan­cial and media insti­tu­tions to give authen­tic­i­ty to the cryp­tocur­ren­cies they pro­mot­ed. The loss­es are believed to be in the mil­lions, and Log­i­cal­ly claimed one man com­mit­ted sui­cide after los­ing $100,000 in the scheme.

A user known as Patri­otQakes, leads the QSI main chan­nel, which has mul­ti­ple region­al affil­i­ates. The own­er­ship of the WhipLash347 account is believed to have changed hands more recent­ly due to changed behavior.

Rocky Morn­ing­side, a for­mer admin of the QSI group told Log­i­cal­ly he believes that “with­out doubt that WhipLash347, Patri­otQakes, and QSI are scam artists,” who were pro­mot­ing “pump and dumps.”

Coin­tele­graph request­ed a response to the alle­ga­tions from Patri­otQakes, an account seem­ing­ly belong­ing to the per­son behind Whiplash347 and an admin of a region­al QSI group regard­ing the alle­ga­tions but did not receive a reply by the time of publication. 

Nei­ther of the groups have pub­licly acknowl­edged or respond­ed to the allegations.

A for­mer investor in one of the schemes using the name “Cut­ter” now runs a Twit­ter account aimed at expos­ing WhipLash347. He told Coin­tele­graph that he is a mem­ber of a Telegram group with 3000 oth­er dis­grun­tled investors and said of the per­son behind WhipLash347: 

“He’s cre­at­ed a huge list of crypto’s with now dead domains, as well as bogus white papers claim­ing to be affil­i­at­ed with real com­pa­nies. We’ve talked to so many of the coins’ real cre­ators that he mim­ics through copy­cat assets who have to con­tin­u­al­ly tell peo­ple WhipLash is full of shit.”

Cut­ter says WhipLash cre­ates trust with his fol­low­ers through shar­ing sim­i­lar polit­i­cal views, per­pet­u­at­ing the scheme by claim­ing “upcom­ing events” will cause the val­ue of the assets to skyrocket.

Accord­ing to Cut­ter, WhipLash respond­ed to the claims by say­ing all infor­ma­tion is under non-dis­clo­sure agree­ments and any­body affil­i­at­ed with the assets isn’t allowed to talk until the “event”.

“There’s always a time­line, but when the dates pass and noth­ing hap­pens, he cre­ates new time­lines. It’s nev­er ending.”

He also appar­ent­ly claimed to be in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with fig­ures like Elon Musk, and said the cryp­to-friend­ly bil­lion­aire backs the cryp­tocur­ren­cies WhipLash is promoting.

Cut­ter said that any­one rais­ing ques­tions is kicked out of the group.

“Any­one who ques­tions his nar­ra­tive is removed from his Telegram group, and he con­tin­ues to rinse and repeat among his fol­low­ers. As peo­ple exit, new peo­ple join. It needs to stop.”

Relat­ed: Social media blamed for $1B in cryp­to scam loss­es in 2021

Source link

Please fol­low and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.