Sri Lankans have been warned not to participate in cryptocurrency investment, but many have defied their government’s orders.
Now, they are turning up in droves complaining that they have fallen victim to a fake cryptocurrency investment scheme that swindled millions of rupees out of unsuspecting investors.
With Sri Lanka facing an unprecedented downturn in the economy and the costs of living increasing, many locals have turned to alternative forms of investment in the hope of increasing their money and weathering the economic storm.
But instead of husbanding their finances, some Sri Lankans decided to invest in cryptocurrency schemes.
One anonymous source told Al Jazeera that they invested $6,162 in a cryptocurrency plan, and were promised a five-fold return. This did not happen, and the person only received back $560.20. The rest of the money invested is now gone.
Many Sri Lankans have spoken up against overseas cryptocurrency schemes which have targeted nationals, taking advantage of the bleak economic outlook and uncertainty whether the newly appointed government can make things better.
Inflation already reached 60.8% in July, impacting everyone except the very richest.
Cryptocurrency has been tempting to Sri Lankans despite the government offering a warning that investing in those mechanisms could lead to serious financial damages.
The government has outlawed such investments and the central bank outlined the many dangers that those investment schemes harbored.
Sri Lanka also tried to dissuade people from buying cryptocurrencies as it wants to ensure that money is not sent overseas.
Crypto is still illegal in the country. If you wish to stay away from cryptocurrency investment schemes, we recommend using crypto recreationally at websites such as 1xBit, FortuneJack and Bitcasino.io.