Devotees of the reactionary conspiracy theorist group, QAnon, have fallen victim to multiple crypto scams by influencers. According to reports, the influencers, PatriotQakes, and Whiplash347 scammed thousands of investors out of millions by promoting fake cryptos on their telegram channels.
Findings by Logically, a tech fact-finding company unearthed a massive fraudulent scheme run by QAnon thought leaders PatriotQakes and their partner. The duo had built Telegram communities of about 300,000 followers combined, named Whiplash347 and Quantum Stellar Initiative (QSI.) In these groups, the fraudsters allegedly promoted a curated list of valueless cryptos which they swore would appreciate over time. With a mix of misinformation, conspiracy theories, and bad investment counsel, the motivators convinced their followers to cough up millions.
According to Logically’s investigation, the alleged fraudsters professed to possess insider knowledge concerning certain cryptos. In addition, the scammers claimed to know of an upcoming event that they could not disclose. This event would be a major one capable of skyrocketing the coins. Not only that, the duo pretended to possess confidential military info and links to famous people like Elon Musk, JFK, and Donald Trump.
Fake Tokens in Rug Pull Schemes
The suspected scammers launched fake tokens using the Stellar blockchain, a platform that makes token creation quick and easy. PatriotQakes and Whiplash347 and QSI then partnered to sell these tokens under false claims that the cryptos had links to established companies. For example, a token, Indus gold, sold under the pretend umbrella of a New York bank under the same name. The QAnon influencers promoted Sungold another token touted to have gold collaterals. They also claimed the gold tokens were linked with a firm in Russia.
In all, PatriotQakes and Whhiplash347 netted close to $2 million, which the influencers promptly transferred to other accounts. The alleged scammers also sold fraudulent XLM altcoins claiming affiliation with the Stellar blockchain as well.
Victims Banding Together to Expose Influencers
The Logically team reached out to many of these entities and found both leaders’ affirmations to be false. During their investigation, the tech team spoke with several victims of the rug pull scams. One man lost his life after losing $100,000. Another investor, username Cutter, said he was part of a 3000-member telegram group of Victims aimed at bringing the alleged swindlers down.
PatriotQakes whose real name could be Emily Tang runs the QSI channels which have regional groups. The Whiplash347 account, on the other hand, seems to belong to someone entirely different from its original owner. This is a takeover that must have happened quite recently, as QAnon-friendly posts have trickled to almost nothing in the group. Instead, forwarded messages promoting myriad tokens inundate the platform. An erstwhile admin of one of the regional affiliates told Logically that he does not doubt that the influencers are scam artists running a Ponzi scheme.
At the time of writing, none of the accused have recognized any of the charges laid against them.