Warning Issued Over Football-Themed Investment Scam

3 min read
A screenshot from a Youtube video promoting the website OL669, posted on September 29, 2022.
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The anti-cybercrime police said it was investigating complaints of fraud against a football-themed investment that allegedly lured people to send money before cutting off their withdrawals, and urged caution around online investments.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the police department said it had been investigating the “French OL” group, which used the websites ol669.vip and ol669.online, since October 25.

It had received complaints directly from victims alleging that it had lured people to invest with promises of profits, but after members put in more money they found they were no longer able to take out their deposits, police said.

The department said it wanted to clarify that it was investigating the alleged fraud by the company and owners in order to take legal action. “As the case is still under investigation, the department has not been able to provide details,” it said, but urged caution among the public.

“All members of the public must be careful when transferring money or investing online by reviewing the company’s legal documents, and the identity of the recipient must be clear before reaching the decision to transfer money,” it said.

The case follows a raid on a Phnom Penh scam compound last month that was staffed by and targeted Cambodians. Authorities have given few details of the raid, but it came as part of a crackdown across the country on global scam compounds.

Battambang resident Aun Bunthoeun, 42, said on Wednesday that he was among the victims who had filed a complaint against OL to anti-cybercrime police.

He had lost everything to the scam — his wife had left him after losing thousands of dollars, Bunthoeun said.

He had known the investment as “OL Football,” and had it recommended by friends who saw he was struggling to make an income.

Initially, he saw investment earnings of $13 or $15 per day.

“I saw many people following this, so I followed them too,” Bunthoeun said. “It seemed that they were giving us interest, and they were using our money to do something.”

“I sold my mother’s land inheritance. I sold it for $4,000 and invested $3,600,” he said.

Friends and family, including his in-laws, contributed to the investment, nearly $10,000 in all. Then it fell apart.

“When it started to change, I quickly tried to withdraw the money but I couldn’t withdraw it,” he said. “They froze our money.”

“I don’t know what to do. I’ve lost everything,” Bunthoeun said. “My wife abandoned me and went to her parents because she thinks that I’m a gambler. She was angry because we had little money and I dared to play it, and now I live with my child.”

He personally knew about 20 people who had lost money, and they had filed a complaint to authorities hoping for action. He wondered whether someone powerful was behind the company, he said.

The victims had been unable to reach the company since the troubles started, he added.

A call to a listed phone number for OL went unanswered on Wednesday.

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