Theft is a common vice among peoples. We encounter thieves in every community and in all places but virtual thieves such as we have with crypto scammers are among the most daring.
Their audacity stems from the fact that they are rarely caught because it takes a lot of effort and resources on the part of law enforcement agents to apprehend virtual crooks such as those behind the XPetroleum token.
What is XPetroleum?
The project claims that it is building trust in the oil economy using the blockchain. Now this is very interesting because many have learnt that blockchain could find application in diverse industries.
It is not surprising that fraudsters are leveraging this piece of information to entice people into parting with their funds. They do this by claiming diverse phantom tokenization projects.
There are many ways crypto scams operate. Some are subtle while others such as XPetroleum are more daring.
Stolen Ideas and Plagiarism
The information highway makes it possible for people to gain access to data that they ordinarily wouldn’t. There are many legitimate projects that are working on tokenization of assets and XPetroleum is definitely NOT one of them.
Rather this is one of those scams that stole ideas from existing concepts as seen from the XPetroleum whitepaper which was largely plagiarized.
It is a known fact that clear evidence that a token project is being run by criminals is its genuineness. The XPetroleum whitepaper copied some of its key definitions from professional papers without attributing credit to the original owners of the work.
Even though many investors may not be aware that cyber criminals may have stolen the ideas they are marketing, this is the essence of reviews and background checks before sending investment funds to any projects.
The Role of ICO Review Sites
Initial coin offerings have mostly fallen below expectations, not just in terms of the quality of new projects but the people behind them.
It is estimated that in recent times, 70 to 80 percent of new projects in the crypto industry are scams. This is why established and institutional investors are mostly skeptical about crypto investment especially with respect to initial coin offerings by startups.
Unfortunately, most ICO review sites have not done much to forestall the activities of scam ICOs because many rate scam projects highly. This misleads some investors and enriches the scammers.
This is why every investor is advised to conduct research and due diligence on any project they plan to get involved with. Buying a worthless token is akin to throwing your funds down the drain.
For an ICO scam, XPetroleum is a new one considering that the domain was registered on December 24, 2018. This means that the owners of the projects are still working for it to gain traction.
So unless enough awareness is created making people know that this is just another scam token sale, the criminals behind this project would steal a lot of cryptocurrencies from investors.
You can contribute in stopping the XPetroleum scammers by sharing this post.
On the project whitepaper, whole paragraphs were copied without citation as seen here:
“Petroleum is a fossil fuel. Petroleum is often called crude oil, or oil. It is called a fossil fuel because it was formed from the remains of tiny sea plants and animals that died hundreds of millions of years ago. When the plants and animals died, they sank to the bottom of the oceans. Here, they were buried by thousands of feet of sand and sediment, which turned into sedimentary rock. As the layers increased, they pressed harder and harder on the decayed remains at the bottom …”
This would have been enough proof that this is a scam but scammers leave long trails of misdeeds as seen with the team.
Liam Evans is the founder and CEO as shown on the website. A close study of his profile shows that it was newly created just like those of the other team members.
The builders of the team profiles edited the background of the pictures to make reverse engineering of the images impossible. The reason is obviously that these are not the genuine photos of the scammers.
Moreover, Liam Evans for instance doesn’t seem a Russian name. This deduction is based on the fact that the CEO or some members of the team seem connected to Russia based on communications we had with the team. However, no team member’s name is Russian.
Interestingly, the LinkedIn profiles of all the team members were created at the same time in September 2018 in preparation for the scam. This is proof that these are scammers’ profiles that lead nowhere when investors lose their funds and decide to invite the police.
The CTO, Bradly Robson (obviously fake) has the most unprofessional profile in terms of his description of his skills. Imagine,
“I am hard working and disciplined, highly motivated with great attitude. I am easy to work with and I learn fast. I am not afraid to get out of my comfort zone.”
That wouldn’t be your hire.
A Sense of Urgency
One of the features of scam token sales is that the teams are always in a hurry to make the sale. Genuine ICOs usually make a lot of preparations that span many months and not weeks as seen with this sale.
A look at the XPetroleum roadmap shows that the website was launched in December, by February the sales have commenced and there seems to be no more activities scheduled after the token sale. In fact, everything about the project ends by Q2 of 2019.
This should be a red flag but then wait and check this…
Catching some big fish
Could you image a fish jumping out of the water into the fisherman’s boat? Here’s the experience of one of the investors in the XPetroleum token.
“On February 20, 2019 I was approached by Samuel on Telegram who offered me to buy some tokens from XPetroleum with a 100% bonus, so I bought 220 XPL for $15, quite a small amount (it was for 110 XPL tokens, with a 100% bonus = 220 XPL).”
Later on Samuel messaged me:
İf you invest again 0.5 eth , you will receive 1100 XPL (worth of 165$ USD)
I refused to participate, later on he sent this:
If you invest 0.5 eth , you will receive 5000 XPL tokens (worth of 750$ USD) .
This was already raising a red flag – why would the company be selling so many tokens with a huge % of a bonus? What’s the motive behind it?
1 Day Later (February 21, 2019) – he then offered 11,000 XPL for 0.5 ETH (10 times than what he offered the day before)….
February 25, 2019 – he sent me this:
If you send 1 eth to same address (0xe79e288057D9AfbAFbCd764C895946982B7BB056) , you will receive 33,000 XPL tokens + Ethereum mining rig 360 mh/s.”
The summary of his experience is that the scam team persuaded him to buy the token and later made him send another 1 ETH promising to give him a link to OkEx that would give him the privilege of selling the token privately.
He only realized he had been scammed when it was too late. The XPetroleum team kicked him off their Telegram channel so he wouldn’t blow the whistle.
Cryptoinfowatch checked up the channel which has more than 2000 members. We accosted the team with the scam allegation and got kicked out as expected.
If you’re involved in XPetroleum, please share your experience below and do not forget to share this post to help prevent more investors losing their money.
Don’t be a careless investor. Always cross-check before making investments. Check our recommendation here.