Savedroid Exit Scam – A PR Move in the Poorest Taste and Inspiration to other Scammers

Savedroid, a Germany-based operation focused on creating AI-assisted solutions for crypto savings and investment, has pulled off an apparent exit-scam in April, later revealed to have been some sort of ill-inspired PR stunt.

Their credibility down the drain, the Savedroid people are now scrambling to put a good spin on the incident, but what exactly was it and how did it inspire real scammers to try to cash in on the outrage?

ico.savedroid.com - SaveDroid ICO
ICO.SaveDroid.com

What exactly happened?

On April 18, 2018, Savedroid founder Yassin Hankir posted a tweet containing a couple of pictures of himself at an airport and someone’s hand holding a bottle of beer on a beach somewhere, with the caption: Thanks guys! Over and out.

Alarmed followers were then greeted with a South Park-inspired “Aaand…it’s Gone” meme at the Savedroid website (ico.savedroid.com), and the company’s Telegram channel was shut down.

Believing they were on the receiving end of the latest ICO exit-scam, that came about at exactly the right time (just after the Savedroid ICO had wrapped up), investors snapped immediately, and death-threats began to fly back and forth on social media.

A day later, Yassin Hankir came out with a YouTube video, explaining that Savedroid was in fact still around and that the point of their sick stunt was to draw attention to how easily ICO’s could walk out with peoples’ funds, in an apparent attempt to pre-hype their soon-to-be-launched ICO Advisory service.

Needless to say, investors and crypto-people in general were not impressed.

As a result of the stunt, people have begun withdrawing their investments from Savedroid and the above said video accrued over a thousand dislikes, against just a handful of likes on YouTube.

The comment section below it became rife with people expressing their desire to bring bodily harm to Hankir one way or another.

Given that Hankir’s explanations are indeed rather shoddy and seem to have been drawn up at a moment’s notice under pressure, it is safe to say that the stunt was not really intended to be the “awareness-raising” move into which he now attempts to spin it.

What exactly was it then?

Some people think that the exit scam was real and that Hankir backtracked when he became aware of the backlash and threats.

This theory is not really likely to hold water though.

The way the whole thing was pulled off was way too blatant and obvious, meaning that the Savedroid folks meant to raise as big a storm with it as possible.

An actual exit-scammer would simply fade into the sunset or maybe try to come up with a story justifying the going-under of his operation.

This was not the case with Savedroid.

Furthermore, Savedroid have always gone to great lengths transparency-wise: the identities of their whole team have been public from the beginning.

That would hardly be the MO of an operator preparing for an exit-scam down the line.

What likely happened here was that a planned publicity-stunt simply overshot its intended target.

These folks wanted to get their operation on the map for everyone in the crypto community. They didn’t count on generating this sort of an effect though, and when they saw what transpired, they went into damage-control mode, putting out the above said video.

The bottom line is that while Savedroid is indeed not a scam, based on information available for the time being that is, it has clearly dealt a major blow to its own credibility.

There may have been investors out there, with massive funds in the balance, who may have indeed contemplated suicide or worse, as a result of the stunt.

Also, the move was not a positive one for the crypto industry as a whole.

Did Savedroid really shoot themselves in the foot with this one?

A simple “yes” answer to that question would probably be an understatement at this point.

Not only have they created negative crypto rap with their stunt, they may well have started a new trend, one that would see actual scammers pull similar “pranks,” until the pranks would indeed not be mere jokes anymore.

To make matters worse, the attention resulting from the PR stunt has created opportunities for actual scammers too.

Shortly after news broke in regards to the actual nature of the stunt, some overly creative entity out there, unconstrained by morality, launched a scheme, which floated a 3,000 ETH giveaway to the angry Savedroid community, as a sort of way to make up for the emotional distressed caused.

Of course, the deal – which required people to send some ETH to receive the promised compensation – was a fake one.

Instead of the official Savedroid Twitter account, which is @SaveDroidAG, a slightly different account (@SaveDroidIAG) was the one dangling the worm.

The intent here was obvious, still, in the post-prank helter-skelter, some crypto news portals took the bait and actually published the deal, before readers pointed out the scam and had them edit out the details.

The bottom line

Savedroid’s farfetched PR stunt will probably go down in crypto history as the perfect blueprint of how to bungle up a promotional effort.

It did no good whatsoever to any of the parties involved, it created exploitable avenues for real scammers and it further tarnished the already shaky reputation of the crypto ICO vertical.

It did succeed in raising a ruckus though, so it may not have been a total loss on the part of the “perpetrators.”

The fact that it came at a time rife with high-profile ICO exit-scams (such as that of the Steven Seagal-backed Bitcoinn2Gen), further added to its dubious “efficiency.”

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