There is a sham company in the UK that bears the name Telegram Open Network Limited. It was incorporated on Feb 28 according to documents lodged with the British companies register, Companies House. It names Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, the company’s sole shareholder, director and secretary while claiming $1.13 Billion USD in paid-up capital.
There were numerous suspicious red flags that raised questions. One of the most conspicuous ones being that the company’s hefty listed $1.13 Billion USD paid-up capital would attract a huge sum of capital. It certainly looks like a scam of some sorts. Sham companies are usually set up to create the illusion of a firm in good financial standing to dupe customers, investors or supplies. It is a regular occurrence for fraudulent companies to be listed in British companies register as the registration process doesn’t follow effective due diligence.
The Telegram App which has 200 million active users a month, has gripped the attention of crypto investors recently. The enormous subscribers of the application provide a huge user base for its crypto-token. Telegram has raised $1.7 this year according to two filings made with US SEC. Telegram Messenger LLP, which is registered in the UK, has two partners that are both offshore companies, a British Virgin Islands entity and a Belize firm. Durov’s offshore invests with British links helped give some sort of legitimacy to the scam.
If not anyone else, the fraudulent company has claimed at least one victim, the online magazine Calvert Journal. They published a piece on the firm, thinking Pavel Durov has gained British citizenship. He is, in fact, a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis after he had contributed $250,000 to the island’s sugar industry. However, Telegram clarified this on Twitter.
There has been two other look-a-like sites for Telegram that appear to be scams as well. You can read about them here: