The central bank of Samoa began an investigation into the OneCoin cryptocurrency investment service as reported by CoinDesk. OneCoin is a pyramidal marketing scheme that many people believe to have ill intent.
Recently OneCoin has come under scrutiny by a number of countries, including India, Finland and Italy. In fact, Italy fined OneCoin 2.59 million in 2017 for the use of unsavory investment practices.
Samoan authorities are currently investigating whether potential investors were targeted, noting that some have already been defrauded and other targeted by promoters of OneCoin.
“This is a snare that is used to catch people’s money,” said Maiava Atalina Ainu’u-Enari whos is the Central Bank of Samoa’s governor in a statement to Samoa Observer last week.
“You invest $1,000 and then in four months, your cash is ten times more, which means you cash in $10,000,” she said when explaining OneCoin’s advertising to investors.
Local reports also indicated that church officials also might be engaged in this scheme, although to what degree is unknown.
To combat against further losses, the Central bank published a warning to the investors on the risks of investing in OneCoin and cryptocurrency in general.
“Several cryptocurrency promoters have contacted CBS seeking endorsement for their business and product; however they were not able to satisfy the government’s requirement of providing the relevant information for due diligence purposes,” said the statement.
Ainu’u-Enari said that OneCoin is a not only cryptocurrency on the authorities watch list, and that they are focusing on informing new and potential cryptocurrency investors about risks and potential swindles related to such companies.
“Rome was not built for one day, as the saying goes”, she said. “Therefore we slowly build our informative campaigns, programs of increase of awareness and internal control in the financial system”.