Cities throughout China are planning to begin testing (or already are) the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC). Scammers have reportedly been impersonating CBDC testing groups.
Tencent QQ reports that criminals have been promoting a scam that asks unsuspecting Chinese residents to sign up for a new debit card. The victims are told that they’ll be getting a substantial amount of money after they make an investment of about 10,000 renminbi (appr. $1450).
The victims are told that the size of their initial investment will grow as much as 7x the original amount to about 70,000 CNY within an unspecified time period.
The scam appears to be more prevalent in cities where CBDC testing will be taking place. As reported, the Chinese government announced the launch of its digital currency payment pilots in the cities of Shenzhen, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Suzhou. But it seems that there’s no official start date that has been confirmed for these pilots.
Several reports suggest that the fraudsters may have even developed a mobile app for victims to manage their investments, which don’t really exist because their money will just be stolen.
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the nation’s central bank, and other Chinese banking authorities have previously noted that they’ll be announcing developments related to their CBDC project via official channels.
Chinese police officials have uncovered many crypto-related scams over the years. Authorities recently cracked down on a scam involving digital currencies in Wenzhou. The fraudulent scheme reportedly managed to steal more than 100 million CNY (appr. $14.30 million) from its victims. However, the funds were eventually seized along with several luxury cars and villas.