I am the founder of a startup company named SciMatic with few youngsters in my team. We have our own blockchain network loaded with SCI coins. I am going to tell you how I was scammed for 100,000 USDT in the name of investment in our company for buying SCI coins.
The short story is, Mr. Anil Prakash created a second account in my Trust Wallet, send me some Eth and BTC to test it, and then told me to transfer 100,000 USDT in this account, which I have, to give him as a commission after the investment, via him, when the investment reach my bank account. As I transferred 100,000 USDT in that account and let him know, that money itself disappeared from my Trust Wallet within seconds. Two options how may this transfer happened: 1)He told me the CTO of Trust Wallet is his friend, so he can help him using TransferFrom or a similar function in the Trust Wallet; 2) They visited our stall in DCF Expo and there they copied my iPhone to get the private key.
Here is the transaction of the transfer:
Although I did not do this transaction, it is visible in my Wallet.
It started in October, 2022, when we all together went to DCF DATA CENTER EXPO 2022 held in Istanbul Expo Center. On the second day of the expo a person, around 30–40 years old, whitish square faced, approached me and gave me a device, similar to an apple watch. He told me that he is unable to connect this watch to his phone and could I check it. I check around, press the power button, while he was insisting to press another button. I gave his the watch back saying, why don’t he go to phone shops, it is a data expo. Probably he got my fingerprints.
This person has wearing a nice ring with a start of David, that I noticed. I said, that is a nice ring and to which, he replied, yes and due to it, many peoples think me Jewish. I said, no problem for me, Jews are also creatures of God. So he smiled and left.
Few minutes later, another guy around 25–30 years of age, wearing long black cloak and a long black beard, approached me and asked me to explain him the blockchain as long as I can. I started to explain, while he was continuously saying, “Mashallah”, that got my attension. He said he is going to build a 600 apartment building and if there is a possible way to use the blockchain there. Almost for half an hour we talked, but I think in the meanwhile he copied my iPhone through that device (may be using the fingerprints, or any other technique, who knows).
Just two days later, me and my team members started to receive LinkedIn messages from a person named Joseph Melhem (J.email@example.com +33605835567). We talked on the whatsapp and he invited me to meet the owner of the company Anil Prakash who want to meet me immediately in Rome Italy. I talked to Anil on his whatsapp number +44 7917 144873. They send me the invitation letter and a letter of intent given below there they wanted to invest around 8 Million Euro by buying SCI coins.
On 16th November, 2022, I went to Rome, Itally and the same evening, met Anil Prakash and Alexander (may be fake names) at a restaurant at the Campo de’Fiori. That evening they told me that actually they are not the investors and will be looking for a commission in USDT, while the investor is a Greek Person who is looking to send the money to your bank account. The condition was, nobody including the investor should know about the commission. I agreed, and we decided to meet next day.
Next morning on the 17th of November, 2022, we met in a restaurant at the P.za Bologna 7. They ordered pasta but in the meanwhile, they told me that want to see 800,000 USDT in my phone wallet. The deal was, after receiving an investment of 8 million Euro in my bank account, I will send them 800,000 USDT as a commission. When I told them that I have a startup company and do not have that much money with me, they point an idea, that they will get the commission from the investor by increasing the price of the SCI coin, so the investor will send 8.8 Million Euro in investment. Thus, I will return them 800,000 USDT back as commission. While they insist to see that commission money in my wallet immediately, and in the meanwhile a person is continuously calling them. I asked who is calling again and again, Anil said the investors are excited whether the deal is done or not. I doubted the situation and let them know that we will proceed with this agreement in Istanbul. The waitress was also insisting me to eat that food and she will not take it back, it put me in more of doubt. I left the place immediately and came back to Türkiye.
While on the second meeting, Mr. Anil told me whether I am using Trust Wallet. I said yes I do but I do not trust it as I do not know the code. However, I trust MetaMask. He said he trust the Trust Wallet as the CTO of Trust Wallet is his close friend. Mr. Anil created a new account in my Trust Wallet by saying, “this is a new account from zero, nobody should know it, you put the commission money in it, I will see from the explorer, if the commission money is there, I will let the investor to transfer the money to your bank”.
After that, I did not contact Mr. Anil or Joseph Melhem. Few days later, Mr. Anik Prakash finalized another deal with one of my partner. The deal was as follows:
1. I will put 100,000 USDT in the my Trust Wallet account that Mr. Anil has created in my Phone.
2. Mr. Anil will check the account from explorer whether it has that balance.
3. The investor will transfer 1.5 Million Euro to my company’s account.
4. I will buy 800,000 USDT from that money and transfer to Mr. Anil wallet account.
5. The investor will send 6.5 million Euro in the second transaction.
6. We will provide 3,200,000 SCI coins that we have agreed, locked in a contract.
As I was in doubt regarding my Phone and the security of the Trust Wallet, I bought another Android phone and installed a new wallet. I talked to Mr. Anil about that but he did not accept and insisted that I should put the 100,000 USDT in that same account that he has created because he has given it to the investor. I was wondered and asked him “does the investor knows about the commission?, you have told me the investor should not know it”. But he said yes I told him and he also want to see that. To my partner, Mr. Anil has provided the following passport of the person Norbert Stocker who is going to invest in our project.
So, we agreed, although I had doubts about the private key of that account, I exported the private key and imported the account into my Android phone. As agreed, we transferred 100,000 USDT into my account. Here is the transaction: https://etherscan.io/token/0xdac17f958d2ee523a2206206994597c13d831ec7?a=0xf7b88457193b7c311cd24c46d99dc5bf47538ebc and let Mr. Anil that the commission money is in that account. He dropped the call by saying, give me 5 minutes to check then we will have an online meeting with our investor and lawyers. After that, I was looking to my phone and boom, the money is gone! The USDT balance is zero!!!! We were shocked and called back Mr. Anil, and upon asking “did you take out the money”, he refused and said how can I take it out, when I asked, only you have this wallet address, even a phone number cannot be dialed to a person whom you want to call without knowing the number, how can somebody just make a guess in 5 minutes and then know the private key, and take out the money from this wallet address. He was making excuses by saying, “English is neither my mother language nor yours, so give me sometime to check where the money is further transacted”.
We talked and shouted on each other after 20 minutes again, but in vain. Then there was no talking about the meeting or investors.
There is no way we can contact the Trust Wallet. When we look out at the LinkedIn page of Trust Wallet, there are lots of peoples who are also scammed through Trust Wallet and are writing there, but no answer from any authority.
Binance and Trust Wallet should take serious action regarding these reports and make the return possible if the CTO of Trust Wallet is involved or if there is any leak in the wallet code.
Here at our side, we have started legal action against Mr. Anil, Joseph Melhem and Alexander under Turkish jurisdiction. After necessary formalities, the case will be forwarded to Interpol, euro pol etc. I am not going to leave this case unsolved. Mr. Joseph Melhem has immediately closed his LinkedIn account once i found more peoples in his friends list, to whom he has promised to invest 12 millions Euros and invite them to meet in Russia. The wallet addresses used in the scam are also no longer in use.
Mr. Anil or the CTO of Trust Wallet, you have stolen the dreams of mine, the dreams of my young team mates and those small investors who are supporting our project with countable money.
We contacted Mr. Norbert, the investor who was going to invest in our project by buying SCI coins. According to him, they have also obtained his documents using a fraud.
The following chat below shows that this group is very active and not only we were scammed.
Now there are two important things in this story. Copying the phone or getting funds from the phone may be two different cases or may be part of the same procedure. There is a possibility that the nobody has copied the phone, and the CTO of trust wallet is the friend of Mr. Anil. So, they can get the funds from any account they want.
I have contacted the friends of Joseph Melhem on LinkedIn, and to one of them, Mr. Joseph invited to Russia and promissed for 12 Million USD of investment. When i talk to this person and explain the story, they cancelled the Russian visit, and after that, the LinkedIn account of Mr. Joseph Melhem was deactivated.
The fate of SciMatic Hybrid Blockchain is to grow, grow higher and higher, a few culprits cannot stop it no matter what happens. Ask any query or suggest anything how can we get this amount back in any form at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Anil, Joseph Melhem, Alexander or the CTO of Trust Wallet (if friend of Anil), you are not going to digest that money. Sooner or later, I will grab your neck somehow through any authority.