Hyderabad: Over the past one week, several Whatsapp messages were doing the rounds asking people in Hyderabad to sign up for Laxmicoin following rumours of a new cryptocurrency by the government. The messages were being sent even when finance minister Arun Jaitely in his Budget speech had said cryptocurrency was not legal tender in the country, but the government would explore its underlying technology, called blockchain. Laxmicoin a digital currency like Bitcoin or Litecoin — run on blockchain technology.
A software engineer Mahender Yadav received a text message asking him to sign up for Laxmicoin, “I received a message saying that the Indian government introduced cryptocurrency and they are giving away 20 free Laxmicoins to everyone who signs up. I signed up and forwarded the message to some of my friends and now my Laxmicoin balance is 640. They did not take any money from me so far.”
Laxmicoin developers told Deccan Chronicle, “We are not buying or selling Laxmicoin, we are going to just airdrop some coins to our registered users and the price for that is zero. We are getting thousands of new users registering every day. We have not taken any money from any user.”
However, CID officials said, “This is a fraud as the government did not recognise any cryptocurrency as legal tender. People should be aware of such scams and false claims. Laxmicoin founders clarified that they were not associated with any government agenda or initiative.
Twitter suspends accounts of cryptocurrency traders
On the footsteps of Facebook, Twitter was taking measures to reduce the amount of cryptocurrency scams taking place on its platform and suspending their accounts.
Scammers were posing as celebrities on Twitter and claimed to be giving away cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to their followers. Recently, fraudsters used a fake ID of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and asked his fans to send a small amount of cryptocurrency to be eligible for the free currency. These imposters used deceptive tactics like misspelt username but with same image and name of the verified account. They were also employing bots to amplify such posts and users were falling prey to this.
In response to a tweet by Emin Gün Sirer, Cornell professor, regarding such scams, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded: “We are on it.”
Scammers were misusing their verified symbol (blue tick) to trick users into shelling out money.
Twitter had been suspending accounts of such users. It may be mentioned that Facebook recently changed its policy on cryptocurrency.