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Exit Scam? Ethereum-based Confido Vanishes after Raising $374,000 ICO

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM
Francisco Memoria
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM

Ethereum-based startup Confido, a little-known project that recently raised $374,000 in an ICO from investors in exchange for CFD tokens, has seemingly vanished from the internet, as all its social media profiles and website have been taken down. Investors are now looking into the situation, which points to a potential exit scam.

Confido pitched itself as a blockchain-based app that allowed for smart contracts that acted as an escrow between buyers and sellers during transactions. Per our sister site Hacked , among one of the first to report on the incident, the three-day ICO was held earlier this month.

Their CFD tokens reached as much as $1.2 per token, but their value soon plunged as the company revealed it was facing legal issues. As Hacked reported, a post made by the company founder and CEO, Joost van Doorn, stated that Confido was facing legal trouble due to a contract, it read:

“Thanks for always standing by us. We have achieved some incredible things these last two weeks, and the crypto space is beginning to notice us. However, we ow you an apology. Right now, we are in a tight spot, as we are having legal trouble caused by a contract we signed. We signed the contract with assurance from our legal advisors that there was minimal risk and it would not be an issue. I can’t and won’t go into details, but he was wrong. It is a problem.”

However, things went on to take a turn for the worst, as the company deleted its Twitter Facebook , Medium, and Reddit accounts. Archived pages are still accessible, including one of the company’s Medium post.

Concerned investors on Reddit  started investigating Joost van Doorn’s claims and situation, but soon found there was barely any trace of him online. A cached version of Confido’s website – now taken down – claims he worked at eBay, PepsiCo, and Zalando. The LinkedIn profiles  of the company’s team also looked fake, as they all had years of work experience, but little to no connections.

A Confido representative on Reddit, going by “Chris-ConfidoSupport,” admitted that he was clueless as to what was going on. He claimed to have been in contact with the company’s CEO for “a number of weeks” and that the move was “completely out of character.”

Ongoing Investigation

Confido’s ICO was done through TokenLot, a firm that manages ICOs for various startups. The company released a statement  regarding Confido in which it revealed that the team seemingly pulled an exit scam.

According to TokenLot’s statement, the company is no longer communicating with Confido, nor does it have any more information than the public. Confido reportedly showed all required proof to be listed on its platform and receive the funds collected from its investors. While looking at clues, however, TokenLot revealed it found a lead that revealed tokens collected during the ICO were sent to an account on cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex.

TokenLot further revealed it’s been in contact with Bittrex, and learned that the funds were sent to an account in which a know your customer (KYC) check was authenticated. Bittrex’s privacy policy means a law enforcement request is required before customer information is released, and as such a report is being filed with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations. (FBI).

Finally, TokenLot added that it contacted Chinese exchange KuCoin, as it added CFD tokens to its platform. At press time, these tokens’ value has plummeted to $0.02 per token. In light of these developments, KuCoin also revealed it suspend trading for these tokens. A blog post  stated:

“We are suspending the trading and deposit of Confido (CFD) due to the shutdown of Confido official website and Twitter account, users can cancel orders via Assets – Active orders and withdraw CFD via Assets – Withdraw. We are contacting the project team right now and we will make another announcement about the next step.”

Both on Reddit and the Bitcointalk  forum, some users slammed KuCoin for not properly vetting the company, while others revealed that they were victims of the exit scam. One user even said that “this is a punch in every single investor’s face.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.