Losing tens of thousands of dollars because of the news of 'sending money with high interest'

  Hoang Minh (Binh Duong) decided to deposit 10,000 USD into the Cactus Option digital money saving platform with the promise of 5% interest a week.

To participate in Cactus Option, players need to deposit at least 50 USD in Tether (USDT) into the system, then this amount is converted back into USD on the platform. In mid-August, Mr. Minh decided to participate. Initially, he only spent about 500 USD to try it out. Every day, he received more than 3 USD in interest and after a week it was 21 USD. He tried to withdraw to the e-wallet and succeeded.

Trusting the model, Minh decided to deposit all of his 10,000 USDT into Cactus Option. Every day, he earns more than 60 USD. Every week, the interest is added to the principal. He intends when he makes a profit of about 5,000 USD, ie after about 3 months, he will withdraw all his capital and only play on profit.

However, by the first week of September, he was worried when a member of the Telegram group said he could not withdraw money. When trying to login to the account and withdraw, he received the message: "The operation failed".

On the Telegram group of Cactus Option Vietnam with more than 20,000 members participating, many people also expressed panic. Someone admitted to depositing 100,000 USD into the system without withdrawing any interest. Others reported sending between $500 and $50,000.

On September 13, Cactus' website appeared a reassuring notice: "Cactus is preparing for a plan to file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To do this, we must be prepared. for the audit process. All funds will be sent back to members who have KYC (identity verified) before October 31." Besides, Cactus Option also requires the recipient to provide personal information, account number that can receive USD and many other information.

Many investors try to KYC as well as send account information to Cactus Option in hopes of getting their money back. However, on September 14, the platform's website system was suddenly inaccessible. When entering the page, only the white background appears. Besides, the official Twitter and Telegram channels also suddenly disappeared.

"Our hopes are lost," said a person claiming to be the admin of the Cactus Option Vietnam group. He admitted to calling dozens of people to join the system because Cactus has an attractive commission model, but he was also the victim with more than $20,000 deposited.

Not only in Vietnam, many people who invested in Cactus also regretted because the team behind suddenly disappeared. Data from FxGecko, a query and complaint tool for forex brokers, shows that Cactus Option only has a 1.3/10 credit score. The platform also recorded more than 30,000 complaints from users, most of them from China, India, Vietnam and some countries in Southeast Asia.

According to information on the website before it became inaccessible, Cactus Option was founded in 2008, and is headquartered in Cyprus. The company is described as "concentrating a number of experienced traders and professional analysts who advise on top trading patterns and have achieved impressive results in the industry". This business also "shows" that it has been licensed by the European Commission (EC). However, the information only appears on the company's website, not elsewhere.

In fact, since its appearance, Cactus Option has had many suspicions of fraud. Aside from offering excessively high returns, the platform has no collateral in the event of a crash. In addition to a website that looks like a mobile application, Cactus Option does not have an application on iOS or Android.

According to Mr. The Linh, a person who understands cryptocurrencies and has more than 5 years of experience in the market, it is unthinkable for a platform to offer interest up to 5% per week, or 20% per month, in the financial world, except when it's a scam. For comparison, the interest rate of most banks in Vietnam is currently around 5-7% a year.

"You have to ask the question that with such a large interest rate, where is the money for a company to pay to thousands of people participating in the system. This can only be a multi-level ponzi model, taking money from the latter to pay. In most projects like this, the people behind will gather enough money and run away. The 'enough' time will come sooner or later, "said Mr. Linh.

In fact, there have been many digital money platforms for depositing with high interest rates over the past time, causing investors to regret. The most famous is Anchor Protocol, a loan application that supports interest rates up to 20% per year, which is behind Terraform Labs. This broken model triggered a domino effect that caused the entire Terra ecosystem of the governance token Luna and stablecoin UST to collapse. It also made 9x CEO Do Kwon an international wanted, while the tokens were "refreshed" but lost most of their value.

The Luna crash also opened the door to the crisis of a number of other crypto savings platforms. In June, Celsius Network caused a stir when it announced that it would not accept transfer or withdrawal requests for an indefinite period of time, leaving many people reeling from not being able to get their money. It is one of the largest crypto lending and borrowing platforms in the world, where users can deposit and receive interest in cryptocurrencies at up to 17% interest. Another platform, Babel Finance in Hong Kong, also announced in mid-July that it would suspend withdrawals indefinitely due to "incurrence."
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