Prodeum, a Lithuanian cryptocurrency startup, has disappeared without a trace, supposedly running away with millions of dollars in investor money. To add insult to injury, the scammers posted a cryptic message on their website with the word: penis.
It makes some sense as there’s a medication called Prodium that is used to treat urinary tract infections.
Before it ran away with the money, Prodeum fooled investors into believing that it’s keeping track of fruits and vegetables on the Etherium blockchain. The startup asked investors for help in raising 5,400 ether or about $6.5 million.
Prodeum reportedly raised millions of dollars in venture capital money, although many are skeptical, pointing out that the company’s amateurish press release and ICO make it highly unlikely to dupe many investors.
Seriously, who is going to believe in a cryptocurrency based on vegetables?
Apparently, a few gullible investors took the bait. On January 28, the cryptocurrency startup vanished, but not before leaving the hilarious message on its website.
a shitcoin startup called Prodeum just exitscammed with millions of investor dollars and left them the following message on their site pic.twitter.com/q5R4QAxvwU
— ambidextrous layup guy (@thelateempire) January 28, 2018
As of this writing, all traces of the company have disappeared, including its Twitter and Telegram accounts. Emails to the company’s customer service address bounced back. Upon further investigation, it appears that the founders used fake LinkedIn profiles with fake photos.
Prodeum is just one in the long and growing line of cryptocurrency scams. On April of last year, an Indian blockchain startup named OneCoin duped investors of $350 million. Another startup named Confido ran away with a paltry $370,000.
Obviously, not every ICO is a scam, and there are dozens of legitimate cryptocurrency firms. The unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies and the allure of easy money, however, make the industry susceptible to scammers and fraudsters of all kinds. Fraudulent individuals can easily register a company, make a professional website and release an official-looking paper. Scammers can also hire people to write fake news stories about their startup to drum up interest.
Cryptocurrency investors are advised to practice due diligence before investing their hard-earned money.