Years ago, on my way from work, I saw a man standing by the wayside weeping. It was a heavy traffic snarl and I got to have a good look at him. In my mind, I knew that for a man of more than 20 to stand by the road and weep that he was taking advantage of commuters’ emotion as a scammer.
Barely a week later while driving through another part of the city, I saw the same fellow by the roadside weeping again. I wasn’t surprised because I already deduced that he was a scammer. What Indigen Foundation does is very similar – taking advantage of poverty to scam people.
Taking Advantage of People’s Emotion
The nasty thing about scams is that they make victims and all others affected lose the ability to trust others. It also makes it difficult to appeal to emotion when necessary as we can see with Indigen Foundation, a good project that could have actually decided to pursue a noble dream except that scammers are behind it.
The project which said it planned to use blockchain to help impoverished children in third world countries has been linked to several ICO scams through one of its principal promoters.
The project which has ideals that are reminiscent of UNESCO wants to help not just children but natives in poor countries to maintain their heritage and identities.
Scamming At All Cost
One take-away for Indigen Foundation is that scammers are using all means possible to take money from the unsuspecting. The token which the project website stated was designed for indigenous people has also been linked to another scam in Philippines.
This is an indication that those behind this project are serial scammers who are bent on taking advantage of people’s emotion and desire to help the poor.
Interestingly, the project website called it a donation cryptocurrency creating the impression that a fraction of the earnings from sale of the token will go to the poor.
Using The Poor to Make Money
Using the poor as bait for scam is nothing new. There are instances in which people have pretended to be poor in a bid to solicit for alms. Instances also abound in which people especially in developing countries use the infirm or the poor to raise funds for selfish purposes.
This is one scam that may not be as obvious in the internet but still very much taken advantage of by scammers.
The fact that ICOs can raise funds with nothing but a website though they have no structure or product on ground makes it attractive to scammers.
A Promise to Promote Indigenous Peoples Languages
According to the Indigen Foundation, they would work towards the preservation of indigenous culture by working to preserve the language of the people in Philippines.
It stated that these languages can be preserved using blockchain citing that the UN has declared 2019 the year of indigenous languages. The project sales pitch was decent enough and may have generated more attention debar its malicious intent.
It further stated that developers who contributed by adding language data to the Indigen blockchain would be rewarded with its token. That’s a line any legitimate project would use.
Fake Team Member Profile Picture
However, Cryptoinfowatch investigations found out that a member of the team Pavel Bovek used stolen photo for his profile pointing to the suspicion that all the profiles are not genuine. The team took the picture of a performer Mathew Foster and renamed him Pavel Bovek in an identity theft that is routine with most scam ICOs.
This is a vintage scam team behavior as they plan to steal investors’ funds and move on to their next scam. These days ICO scammers are using stock photos and any other pictures that they hope will not be tracked by ICO investigators and reviewers.
It has been reported that these scam ICOs are going further in their quest by asking freelancers to provide them with such picture to create their bogus team profiles with which to scam people.
You May See Your Picture in A Scam ICO
Do not be surprised any day you see your picture as a member of a scam ICO as these malicious characters are doing everything they can to steal funds from investors.
Speaking in a reaction to the scam allegation, one of the promoters of the project and a team member posted in a Bitcoin forum that the team was unaware that Bovek used the picture of the performer.
That they came up with this defense is not surprising since dubious teams routinely pretend that they were unaware that a member used faked photo.
Bovek’s photo and profile has since been removed from the project website but that has not taken from the fact that a project that is associated with a pervious ponzi scam is a scam even though the spokesperson for the project Sohailul has made attempts to dissociate Indigen Foundation from Paysbook, the Philippine-based pyramid scheme claiming that Paysbook only bought the Indigen token.
What’s your impression of scam ICOs like Indigen? Let’s hear it in the comment box below.