- Thai social media influencer “Nutty” is alleged to have carried out one of the biggest ever forex scams.
- The dancer/singer has disappeared, and a warrant is out for her arrest.
- Scammed investors have raised a reward of $50,000 for information on her whereabouts.
A Thai Instagram influencer has gone missing, and $55m of investor funds have disappeared with her. With the once highly active social profile now silent, this worryingly appears more than a simple coincidence and Thai police are taking up the case. Individual losses of more than $1m are being reported, and crowdsourced fundraising by scammed investors means there is now a reward of $50,000 for anyone willing to share the location of the ringleader.
The hunt is on for the suspect Natthamon Khongchak who until recently managed incredibly popular YouTube and Instagram accounts under the profile name “Nutty”. Self-billed as a singer and dancer, Nutty’s big break came when she managed to persuade some of her 847,000 followers to invest in her online trading scheme.
Nutty’s credentials as a trader were far from textbook, but in what looks like a classic Ponzi scheme, early-day investors were paid out handsomely using funds deposited by those who were late to the game. It’s thought more than 6,000 unlucky investors have been caught up in the scheme, which represents one of the most significant cases of forex fraud ever seen.
The Nutty affair highlights how high-profile individuals are still managing to use their popularity to entice investors by guaranteeing them huge short-term returns. The cover story for Nutty was that she was using her forex trading skills to generate returns, and, at face value, the returns on investment are attractive. Investors sending money to her account were promised a 25% return after three months, 30% after six months and 35% over a year.
With returns of that scale promised, unsuspecting followers sent money directly to Nutty but now face losing all their investment. Before disappearing, Nutty posted a message that the money had been lost in a trading error. She assured Instagram followers that the funds would be returned. In an Instagram post, she stated:
“Sorry that I have troubled many people and disappointed many people. Promise to do everything possible to get money back to everyone, both trade and other work in conjunction, with the fastest refund.”
While the general approach of scammers doesn’t tend to change too dramatically, the new themes they adopt continue to pose different challenges. It’s evident that this year extra vigilance is required when surfing social media channels, and the best advice for any investor is to make sure your broker, such as one from this shortlist, is legit and regulated.
Crowdsourcing information about scam brokers can help others avoid falling into the traps set by disreputable brokers, and you can share your experiences here. If you would like to know more about this particular topic or have been scammed by a fraudulent broker, you can also contact us at [email protected]
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