OneCoin Crypto Ponzi Scheme Used Pretend Critiques to Enhance Its Picture
Analysis performed by the Digital Forensic Analysis Lab (DFRLab) of the Atlantic Council suppose tank means that the notorious cryptocurrency-themed Ponzi scheme OneCoin used pretend critiques on TrustPilot and Quora to lure buyers.
In response to a report printed on Jan. 29, OneCoin acquired an anomalous variety of five-star critiques on TrustPilot after the media began negatively masking OneCoin in October 2019.
OneCoin’s TrustPilot critiques over time. Supply: DFRLab
Per the report, of the 579 TrustPilot critiques of OneCoin, 90% had been optimistic and about 400 of the five-star rankings had been printed in a single month. DFRLab states that OneCoin additionally acquired some one-star rankings, however these had been by far outnumbered by optimistic critiques.
Indicators of inauthentic exercise
Researchers had been unable to ensure whether or not the accounts behind the critiques had been inauthentic or automated resulting from TrustPilot’s design, however mentioned that their exercise was suspicious:
“October 2019 spike in five-star rankings, nonetheless, indicated an irregular inflow of favorable critiques simply as OneCoin’s public relations and authorized woes mounted. The chance stays that the inflow for each rankings and critiques was natural, although the timing and excessive bias was extremely suspicious.”
DFRLab additionally discovered profiles praising OneCoin on question-answer platform Quora which confirmed “inauthentic behaviour, equivalent to no profile photos, no biographical data, inconsistent posting instances, and an unique curiosity in OneCoin-related discussions.”
The researchers present one profile, through which the proprietor described herself as a “cryptocurrency professional and investor” however solely answered questions on OneCoin. The account was energetic from January to March 2018, and its peak exercise was when OneCoin was most energetic. The report reads:
“As OneCoin’s authorized challenges mounted, the corporate’s pyramid advertising scheme garnered vital consideration. Its digital advertising techniques, nonetheless, acquired significantly much less scrutiny.”
OneCoin is without doubt one of the most well-known scams within the cryptocurrency area. The official OneCoin web site solely ceased operations in early December 2019. Throughout the identical month, the New York Southern District Courtroom granted a continuance within the lawsuit in opposition to David Pike — the CFO of a personal fairness fund — over his alleged hyperlink to the rip-off.