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Crypto influencer runs Ponzi scheme in "awareness campaign"

"Crypto bros are far too gullible," influencer FatMan Terra said after collecting $100,000 worth of bitcoin in a murky investment scheme he pitched on Twitter. He said he refunded all the money he received – but faced backlash anyway.

People invested even when the opportunity details were "deliberately obscure," FatMan Terra said of his campaign on Twitter, where he has more than 100,000 followers.

He neither provided the fund's name nor described the trade or where the yield came from, but people could not part with their money fast enough.

Within two hours of an announcement, FatMan Terra said he received over 100 direct messages "with more requests flooding in by the minute." He raised 3.45 bitcoin from Twitter and two bitcoin from discord, which is more than $100,000 in total.

"I want to send a clear, strong message to everyone in the crypto world – anyone offering to hand you free money is lying. It simply doesn't exist," FatMan Terra said, adding it was "far too easy to scam people in crypto."

Warning that "free lunches don't exist," he said people should not trust influencers selling quick money through trading, coaching, or "golden" investment opportunities.

Some commenters applauded FatMan Terra's professed attempt to educate people about crypto scams, but others said his actions were morally – and even legally – questionable.

"Interesting. Seems that lesson could be taught without collecting money (which in and of itself may have been a crime," one user said.

They added: "So we can all wonder whether you really did this as a 'lesson' or if you simply backed down once you saw the pushback you received."

Another user also questioned his original intentions, tweeting: "This reminds me of me in high-school. I asked the popular girl out and after she rejected, I said to her that I was just joking".

FatMan Terra anticipated the "hate" he would receive but said he didn't care as long as "it's going to get at least a few people to start thinking more critically."

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