Exit scams are still as prevalent as ever, as unfortunately there seems to be no sign of the practice slowing down. In what appears to be a rather intertwined exit scam, two projects have gone dark and run away with more than $8 million combined. RepuX and JoyToken appeared to be two separate projects with their own unique goals, but they both share a number of key members of staff and a marketing agency.
RepuX’s ICO drew in $4.7 million, while JoyToken’s ICO pulled in a cool $3.4 million back in early 2018. The two companies are now listed as “Dissolved” according to Companies House – the registrar or UK-based companies – a worrying sign for investors.
A Plunge into Darkness
Both companies shared the same address and were incorporated on the same day, and were both marked as dissolved on the same day too. The similarities don’t end there, both projects used the marketing agency AmaZix who dropped both projects as clients in May 2018 due to “irreconcilable differences”. AmaZix was in charge of community management, and it appears when the contract was ended, the two projects started to take these communities offline. Telegram groups no longer exist, while their websites have been removed as well.
Possible Fake Project Members
Fake project members and advisors are a long-standing tradition in the exit scam world, and these two projects look as if they took full advantage. Both listed Lee Murphy, and entrepreneur Mateusz Mach as advisors, but it’s still unclear whether the two actually had anything to do with the projects. Mach appeared in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for 2017 after founding an app that became the first messaging center for the deaf community.
Exit Scams Can Get Dangerous
After an exit scam, many investors feel angry – it’s totally normal. However, those who decide to do some digging and investigate the true identity behind the scammers are often at risk. In late 2018, Westland Storage finally pulled an exit scam, which quickly took a dark turn. Those investigating the true identities of the scammers received death threats on multiple occasions. While it looks like the threats were just that for now, scammers can be dangerous people if you are on the verge of exposing them.
Hack or Scam?
Back in October 2018, popular Canadian exchange Maple Change suffered a “hack”, but further investigations hint at a possible exit scam. After the “hack”, Maple Change offered to give back all the shitcoins, but claimed it was impossible to recover the Bitcoin and Litecoin that had been “stolen”. This combined with social media going dark has led many to believe that it was in fact an elaborate exit scam rather than a genuine hack.
For investors in RepuX and JoyToken, it looks like there is little that can be done for now. Cases can be opened with the British Financial Conduct Authority, but there is no telling whether any of the funds can ever be recovered.