A startup called Giza allegedly was supposed to develop a secure storage device to act as a digital currency vault. It resulted to be a fraudulent ICO project, as CNBC reported today. An individual or a group of ones behind the scam created a fake LinkedIn account with stolen photos of a complete stranger from Instagram and drew more than 1000 investors over the course of January through February. The central figure in the project - a mysterious COO of Giza Marco Fike: he was recruiting employees at freelancer-oriented job hunting websites, conducted chat interviews on Telegram and Skype (never voice or video), and managed business connections.
Late last year Giza contracted a Russian manufacturer Third Pin LLC that dealt with hi-tech devices. Giza representative provided initial designs, the project was sketched and the price was announced. But after several vague discussions on the matter of the details of the deal (how many units are considered, what specific characteristics should the device have, etc) the CEO of Third Pin, Ivan Larionov cut off the deal suspecting the project is a fraud. Mr. Larionov then posted at a Bitcoin forum explaining the fallout. These 2 facts eventually resulted in the project's compromise.
At the beginning of February Giza raised over 2100 ethereum tokens (~ $2.4 mln). Around mid-February huge discharge of Ether was spotted, it continued for 2 weeks until March, 2. A parallel is considered between Giza and another scam against a digital currency Bee Token: in February, Bee Token conducted an ICO but scammers inserted themselves into the cryptocurrency flow. And one of the wallets associated with Bee Token phishing attempt actually sent money to a wallet associated with Giza.
Giza investors have no clue of how to get their money back, and some have already contacted law enforcement authorities in the UK.