Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance has issued a warning that fraudsters are attempting to coax victims into investing into a false “virtual currency” they claim is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance government projects.
According to the ministry, a Singapore-based company is promoting ‘CryptoRiyal’ and ‘SmartRiyal’ cryptocurrencies, which make use of Saudi Arabia’s official emblem.
The company has also claimed that the “ultimate goal” of the cryptocurrencies is to finance the kingdom’s Neom smart city mega-project.
“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the kingdom,” the ministry said.
In an interview with Arab News, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq said that the scammers take advantage of a victim’s lack of knowledge on the matter.
“A lot of tricks can be played,” he was quoted as saying. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.
“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher,” he added. “Then the owners sell and make tons of money.”For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.