Cryptocurrency investors are constantly looking for the next big thing. Most participate in ICOs and, every once in a while, the team behind one pulls an exit scam and just vanishes with people’s money. Ethereum-based startup Prodeum just pulled one on its investors.
Prodeum, supposedly based in Lithuania, was set to “revolutionize the fruit and vegetable industry. It would do this by putting a new price look-up code system (PLU) on Ethereum’s immutable blockchain. This way, people could track where their fruit and vegetables came from, effectively improving the industry’s transparency.
On January 28, however, its website suddenly went down. Its layout was replaced with a white page with the word “penis” on top. At press time, the website is still unavailable. Upon investigation, various users found that Prodeum paid Fiverr users to write its name on their bodies and then share the images on social media.
lololololol it looks like Prodeum was paying people from Fiverr to write its name on their bodies pic.twitter.com/501JVdpKZM
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) January 29, 2018
The internet is forever. pic.twitter.com/Qf5hV4ae0k
— Devan Koshal (@dvnkshl) January 28, 2018
Further investigation revealed that Prodeum’s team essentially used a bunch of stolen profiles. According to Reddit users, when the original profile of a team member was found, it was quickly changed to a new one. The project listed four individuals on its team. Its founder, Petar Jandric, has seemingly deleted its LinkedIn profile since the team pulled the exit scam.
The exit scam seemingly didn’t have a great payout. Although a few users claim it managed to rake in “millions,” Core Media’s investigation only found an Ethereum address that received about 2.5 Ether. At press time, that’s less than $3,000.
Prodeum exit scam was full of red flags
As is common with these schemes, Prodeum’s scam was filled with red flags. As soon as we look at the project’s announcement on Bitcointalk, we can see it is little over one week old. Moreover, the announcement itself just seemingly shills the project, and doesn’t answer any legitimate questions about it.
Upon researching the project’s team on LindkedIn, we can see that there’s no mention of Prodeum, anywhere. In fact, after the exit scam, the project’s supposed lead engineer and strategist distanced himself from it.
“Yesterday I became a victim of an identity theft. My name was used as a tool to attract investments into a project that I have neither no relation with nor ever heard of it before, I want to send my condolences to every Investor that has participated in the project named Prodeum. I will do my best to find and bring the people behind this violent act to justice.”
Investing in ICOs can be extremely profitable, but caution is advised. As recently covered by Core Media, a hacker managed to net $150,000 worth of Ether after phishing Experty ICO investors.