Smart AI Scam Victims Hold Government and GSM Companies Accountable for Failure to Detect Fraud
By: Daniel Cole
MONROVIA: Several Liberians have fallen prey to a fraudulent online scheme operated by a group known as Smart AI, resulting in significant financial losses. While the victims express anger towards the scammers, many are also pointing fingers at the government and major GSM companies for failing to identify and prevent the scam.
Operating through various social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Smart AI deceived thousands of victims into investing their hard-earned money with promises of substantial profits. However, this elaborate scheme turned out to be a criminal operation, leaving many Liberians in financial distress.
In response to their losses, victims gathered at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP) on Tuesday, urging law enforcement to intervene and thoroughly investigate those behind the scam.
Reports circulated that the police had apprehended one of the masterminds of the scam, prompting victims to assemble at the police headquarters and demand justice. They are advocating for the prosecution of all individuals responsible for establishing and registering the fraudulent platform with relevant government authorities.
Smart AI victims alleged that the management of two major GSM companies, Orange and Lonestar, shares responsibility for the situation. They argue that these companies facilitated the scam by allowing transactions to take place through their platforms, thereby enabling the illicit activities.
“Lonestar and Orange should be held responsible and they should pay back our money or else we will not leave this police headquarters. Why will they allow Scamming companies to come on their platform, this is complete wickedness” they said.
According to some affected individuals, those engaged in the online business with Smart AI realized that their accounts had been rendered inaccessible and the platform had ceased operations. Reports indicate that the scam operated under the guise of a cryptocurrency business, utilizing online marketing through Orange and Lonestar GSM Companies.
Lamenting their losses, victims described the scenario with a sense of sorrow, emphasizing that the company abruptly shut down, leaving them in financial turmoil.
The scam employed a cunning approach, enticing victims to deposit funds into the platform’s mobile money account with the promise of substantial returns. Initially successful, this strategy attracted a growing number of investors, who collectively deposited millions of Liberian dollars. However, the platform suddenly ceased operations, leaving individuals unable to access their accounts or retrieve their deposited funds.
As frustration mounted among the victims, a protest ensued, during which many voiced their grievances against the Liberian Government for what they perceive as a failure to protect citizens from online scam operations. Observers say the incident highlights the need for increased vigilance and regulatory measures to safeguard citizens from falling victim to such fraudulent schemes in the digital age.