OneCoin May Have Used Fake Reviews in Ponzi Scheme – Is Anyone Surprised?
The cryptocurrency project launched by OneCoin which was accused of being a Ponzi scheme by authorities may have used fake reviews on Quora and TrustPilot.
The Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) said in a blog post from Wednesday that the OneCoin campaign was initiated at the same time as its founder’s (Ruja Ignatova) disappearance, after she has had many legal cases brought upon her.
In March 2019, a supposed leaders at OneCoin was arrested for perpetuating a pyramid scheme. At the same time, Ignatova was charged with money laundering, and wire and securities fraud. Lawyer Mark Scott was found guilty of money laundering as well.
OneCoin Reviewed with 5 Stars Many Times in October
Researchers at DFRLab discovered that in October 2019, OneCoin received many 5-star reviews on TrustPilot. Here’s what’s written in the research lab’s blog post:
“Of the 579 reviews for OneCoin on the site, 90 percent were positive. Of the five star ratings, about 400 were published within the span of a single month.”
The researchers also say the bad reviews were practically hidden by the 5-star ones.
The Authenticity of TrustPilot Reviews Can’t Be Determined But…
The DFRLab team couldn’t prove that the reviews aren’t authentic, as the TrustPilot’s interface doesn’t allow to make such a determination. However, the influx of good reviews is abnormal and came at the same time as OneCoin was going through some serious legal problems.
However, when the answered about OneCoin from Quora have been analyzed, there were clear signs of inauthenticity, as the profiles that left answers don’t have pictures, nor bios, and they all have revealed an interest only in OneCoin-focused discussions. The respondents claimed they were experts in the cryptocurrency field, but their answers were restricted to OneCoin’s value and viability. This is what the DFRLab blog post concludes:
“While there was no direct evidence tying these inauthentic profiles and reviews to OneCoin employees or evidence of automated activity on either platform, the profiles and favorable reviews nonetheless served to boost trust for the OneCoin brand as it faced a multibillion-dollar scandal.”
Searches on social media for the names of the respondents turned back no matching results.