Showing posts with label Aziz Mirza. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aziz Mirza. Show all posts

BUSTED: 6-Month Manhunt Ends As Police Arrest... An Instagram Influencer?! Meet The Serial Sh*tcoin Peddler...

One after another, Aziz "Com" Mirza pushed any scam or ponzi scheme with a referral program, as long as he thought it would make him a profit.

Aziz's verified Instagram account is still online, and served as the primary platform to scam his 800,000+ followers.

But posting commission-earning affiliate links to other people's scams started getting old - he knew how much the owners of these scams were keeping, compared to his small cut.

While he is a Canadian citizen, he's also Arab, and claimed to be a Muslim. What seemed like a smart move at the time, he used this to target rich middle easterners - a move that will come to backfire on him.

With an established audience, and plenty of practice - he just couldn't resist starting a scam of his own...

Aziz proudly introduced what he called "Habibi Coin" claiming it somehow was the only cryptocurrency compliant with the strict Muslim Sharia guidelines. 

Ironically, the Twitter profile for Habibi Coin, which hasn't been updated since 2018, still has a pinned tweet that warns their followers to avoid getting scammed - cautioning them that "Scammers are impersonating official @HabibiCoin..."

Aziz pushed his coin with a boldness he hadn't shown previously.  Instagram posts weren't enough, so he then talked his way into a business club called the 'Muslim Entrepreneur Network', where was able to give his pitch on stage and in person to large audiences.

With promises that investors will profit or he would pay their losses out of his own pocket, he brought in a wave of 1500+ new investors with a $2000 minimum - but most invested much more.  $25,000+ investments were common, with the highest known so far from a single person being $500,000.

Aziz gives his pitch for Habibi Coin.

"Com deluded us into believing that he was an immensely successful businessman in Dubai. We were dazzled by his upholstered lifestyle and thought he could be a value addition to the network"
says the group's founder Harun Rashid.

There was even a brief period before everything came crashing down where Aziz attempted to break into US/Canadian markets, as seen in a video and podcast from US 'get rich quick' personality Tai Lopez. Surprisingly, these can still be viewed.

We attempted to reach out to Tai for a comment, and have not yet received a response.

Tai's disclaimer does warn that he "may receive compensation for products and services recommended to you" - so perhaps Aziz just paid for the right to play 'expert investor' on camera.

But in reality, Aziz couldn't even scam right.

Okay, there's no 'right way' to scam, but some scammers are smarter than others - and Aziz is far from genius.

Habbibi Coin was never listed on any exchanges, there was an ICO, followed by an announcement that they were extending the ICO dates to raise even more... and well, that's it.

Having covered so many scams, I've noticed many are smart enough to spent at least some of the funds raised on getting the coin listed on exchanges, and doing some post-ICO marketing - this way they're doing something besides just raising funds.

Sure, the scammer was never qualified to launch a real product or service, so the ending is the same - a worthless coin and a rich 'founder.  But at least that founder can blame everyone else by shrugging their shoulders and pointing to "the market" as the reason their coin lost 99% of it's value.  Then, just hope playing dumb works in your favor - unfortunately, sometimes it does.

Then, it all caught up with him...

Aziz has just been arrested in Dubai, after a resident of the nation told authorities he was a victim. Unknown to Aziz, for the last 6 months UAE authorities had been waiting for his next visit.

He is currently being held in Al Awir prison, Gulf News confirmed, with only the general charge of "fraud" given publicly thus far.

While I can't imagine what his defense would be regardless of where he was apprehended, there's not many worse places to be under arrest than in Dubai.  It's not the kind of country where you can hire a high profile lawyer to find some technicality/loophole to get off on.

So while he hasn't gone to trial yet, I feel comfortable breaking one of journalism's rules and jumping to conclusions - we won't be hearing from Aziz for awhile.

When released, he'll likely have charges in other countries to face, with the US, Canada, and Greece all saying he's under investigation as well. After serving his sentence, the UAE would then release him straight into custody of one of these countries when the time comes.

Any current and potential future scammers reading this - learn from Aziz's mistakes.  You can't be a successful scammer without making so many enemies, that you end up getting caught anyway.

For everyone else - I wish I knew what to tell you, some predictable advice like 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is'?  The problem is, every honest scam victim I've talked to will admit they already knew this.

Ever try to warn people they're involved in a crypto ponzi scheme, while it's profitable and paying? Try it sometime and watch them tell you how you're just mad that you missed out, while they argue to defend the people who will disappear with all their money the following week.

So - there is no advice to give people who already know better, and do it anyway.  That's why instead, I would just like to kindly request that you don't overplay your 'victim' status if you fall for one of these - you're really owed 50% of the blame.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM

San Francisco News Desk