The authorities in Austria have reached out to Interpol to help them track down the suspects in an alleged Bitcoin scam that is thought to have hit up to 10,000 people with a predicted value of $115 mln.
The scam, which is known as Optioment, was believed to be running all through last year where it reached its peak. The scam is believed to have affected hundreds of investors in the country, and abroad.
The Austrian population has been coming forward to local authorities with complaints about the Optioment scheme which have been filed at police stations. This has led to the Austrian Authorities consolidating these complaints and then reaching out to Interpol.
Details about the heist are ongoing, but it has reportedly stolen some 12,000 Bitcoins, which amount to $116 mln BTC at the current price. This sum was alleged to have come from about 10,000 in the scheme.
The scheme ran a website, now offline, claiming to be a ‘premier global Bitcoin investment product’ stemming from a ‘private Costa Rica-based Bitcoin fund.’ The scheme also claimed to have its ‘investment’ platform backed by assets over 35,000 BTC.
The Austrian local publication that announced the story indicated that the promise from this scam included promises of 1.5 to four percent weekly returns on deposited coins, and in a typical pyramid scheme, investors were rewarded for bringing more members in.
Austrians are leading the complaints against this scam as the largest investor meet that was organized by Optioment was organized just before its collapse, in Vienna. 700 people turned up to a hotel in Vienna in the hopes of reaping the rewards.
In the scheme, there were a few months where payouts were made, but the high level, multi-tiered scheme ultimately collapsed in November last year. From there, Austria’s Financial Markets Authority began collaborating with the prosecutors’ office in Vienna to carry out an investigation on the suspicion of fraud and/or pyramid play, the Die Presse report added.