Is African Fintech Giant, Patricia, a Fraud Company?

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Patricia has given a customer the option to convert their balance into Patricia shares.
Other customers reported the company discussing the possibility of a partnership with unclear terms.
Customers are agitated as they have not been able to withdraw their money from the crypto exchange in over six months.
"They said they are turning my money into shares, and I have no choice right now,” said *Abraham Nelson, recounting his conversation with a representative of the crypto exchange.

In the recording Nelson shared with the media, the Patricia representative said, "We have found investors but this is the only thing keeping us. This is the best we can do right now. It is most likely our last resort. We just need your cooperation."

When Nelson asked if he'd still get access to his funds when they have been converted to Patricia shares, the representative responded affirmatively, saying, "You can rest assured that you'll get your money."

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Understanding that owning shares within the company was a form of investment, Nelson was confused. The company, however, told him he would get an email with more details, but he has yet to get the details.

The company revealed that it would be placing a call to customers in an email, but reports can only confirm that two customers have gotten the call.

Several updates, zero withdrawals
Patricia customers who spoke to the media said they've been unable to withdraw their funds for over six months. The agitated customers complained that the exchange keeps sending them updates without clearly telling them when they'll be able to get their money.

Nelson, who has about ₦4 million ($5,224) trapped in the company, said he's been unable to withdraw the funds for almost seven months now.

Some customers said their funds have been trapped in the company for eight months.

Ifeanyi Lawrence said his troubles with Patricia started in February when he sent crypto from his Trust Wallet to the exchange to trade it for naira. The trade unusually took three days to be completed.

Lawrence was informed that the reason for the delayed transaction was due to a downtime in bank withdrawals.

He didn't read much to it and decided to continue using the exchange to trade his crypto for fiat. However, his next transaction on the platform has been his last in the past six months.

The exchange communicated to customers that the delayed withdrawals were due to an unscheduled app maintenance and that customers would be allowed to withdraw in March.

As customers' inability to withdraw funds lingered beyond March, Patricia said the problem was due to congestion on the blockchain.

It was after these series of updates that the company announced in May that it was a victim of a hack which reports say happened in 2022, and was over $2 million.

From Patricia tokens to Patricia shares

In August Patricia announced the launch of a native token called Patricia token (PTK), which it said would be used to pay back customer funds.

Is Patricia's token launch an exit scam? Here are the circumstances surrounding the launch of PTK
When the announcement of PTK was met with reactions that suggested the company might be planning an exit scam, it explained that the tokens were debt tokens that would work like an IOU (I owe you) document, a way for Patricia to acknowledge how much it owes customers.

Many of the almost 100 customers who spoke to the media said their PTK balances were still zero since the company made the announcement.

The customers were displeased by the exchange's move to convert owed funds to shares, saying all they wanted was their money back.

Credit: Techpoint Africa

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