The crypto market attracts massive interest thanks to its liquidity, and it seems especially lucrative for those looking for extra income these days. However, there’s also a flipside to this digital coin, and it is the risks and vulnerabilities that come along with this decentralized market.

Since its inception, the crypto market has been a safe haven for scammers, due to its nature. We’ve already witnessed countless types of scams, and the worst news is that fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission reported that more than 46,000 people have already admitted to falling victim to a crypto scam. Remember, these are just the reported cases from 2021 to 2022, and there are probably many more unreported ones. 

What makes this industry so vulnerable? Firstly, there is no real official oversight on the global crypto industry, let alone unified regulations. Moreover, transactions are difficult or almost impossible to trace, making it very easy for fraudsters to take advantage of unsuspecting victims from any point on the map. 

We at Funds Trace are here to help anyone who feels they have been scammed by crypto scammers. We have the tech and the know-how to trace these villains and retrieve the stolen funds. However, it is naturally best to avoid this situation in the first place. Let’s take a look at two of the most recent big crypto scams, to see what we can learn from them about protecting your funds.


Overhead photo of a tablet with Bitcoin tokens and paper clips 

The OneCoin Crypto Scammers

Back in 2014, Dr. Ruja Ignatova and her husband Daniel Daek founded a digital coin called OneCoin. As of today, OneCoin is reported to be the largest crypto Ponzi scheme, with a mind-blowing $4 billion stolen between 2014 and 2016.

OneCoin operated in a seemingly organized manner, with offices in Bulgaria and a company registered in Dubai – OneCoin Ltd (and another one named OneLIfe Network Ltd in Belize). The company’s operating model was based on an MLM (multi-level marketing) network, meaning that the profit of the people in the organization is based on new people who join – in other words, a pyramid scam. It sold financial educational packages ranging from $100 to $100,000. 

Members were encouraged to recruit new members, advancing them to higher levels in the network and earning rewards. Once a member purchased a course, they received tokens that they can use to mine OneCoin. The founders claimed to trade this altcoin, promising extravagant profits. However, the coin was never actively traded. 

The scheme started falling apart in 2016 when authorities in different countries began investigating the company. By the time it was finally determined a pyramid scheme and an arrest warrant was issued for Dr Ruja, she had disappeared and has not been traced since. 

What can we learn from this incident? To never trust a crypto project, especially a new one, without researching it first. However, if you have already unfortunately lost your money to such a pyramid scheme, keep in mind that we at Funds Trace can help. We use our cryptocurrency tracking expertise to trace crypto assets, and later on supply evidence to legal authorities, so that justice is served and funds are returned.

The BitConnect rise and fall 

BitConnect operated between 2016 and 2018. The scheme claimed to generate substantial profits from its platform and guaranteed returns of up to 40% through its “volatile trading software bot”.

The founders used BitConnect’s Lending Program, which allowed investors to buy a stake in its token, BCC. Authorities uncovered the scheme and found out that, as in the OneCoin case, the token was never traded. 

However, the BCC crypto scammers were even more sophisticated. They made up a fake trading history and boasted it to potential victims, and manipulated the token’s price, luring investors by creating an image of high demand and legitimacy. In 2021, federal prosecutors charged the founders, Satish Kumbhani and Glenn Arcao, with defrauding investors of $2 billion. 

At Funds Trace, we use cutting-edge tools and resources such as Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT), Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Cyber Intelligence (CYBINT), and Financial Intelligence (FININT) to unmask crypto scammers and locate them. We also help with the legal side, because finding the culprit is not enough – you also want your money back.


These two cases are, sadly, just the tip of the iceberg. And the worst part is that the criminals are getting more sophisticated and harder to trace down over time. Luckily, we at Funds Trace always stay one step ahead and never rest on our laurels. 

Have you been manipulated by crypto scammers? Don’t hesitate to contact us. Let’s see what we can do for you.

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