Friday 13th Winners

We at iCE3 want to thank all the participants in our event and appreciate all their stories. We have read some really scary ones and we felt the pain for real. The idea about our Friday the 13th event came as we all experienced in one way or another, the bad side of being involved with the cryptocurrency world. This article will be dedicated to the top 3 winners.

The Rules

Let’s remind you of the rules. The game was simple:

1. You must have a verified iCE3X account. Check your account or sign up for one now (https://ice3x.com)
2. Like our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ICE3X/)
3. Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ice3x)
4. Share your horror story as a comment on this Facebook post

You have until Thursday 13th September 2019 to submit your story and we will announce the winner on Monday the 16th. Good luck to you all!

The Winners

Without wasting more time, here are the winners of our latest event and their stories:

First Place Winner

Pontsho Tseole’s story. Her story was very grabbing, descriptive and picturesque. We really felt for them. Without further ado, here it is:

Crypto Horror Story – This is what happened to me, told in through a fictional name, Invest (Who’s story is very very real):
She clicks send, her heart beating faster as she stares at the screen. Pictures of all the things she wants go through her mind like a polaroid film; those black stilettos with the red bottoms, the matching sports car with custom grills, that gorgeous modern smart home by the beach. She imagines herself sitting on the day bed over looking the vast blue waters of the sea, enjoying her wealth. Invest steps out of her revelry, she types her password to log into her Crypto wallet. She sighs as she takes a look at her balance 0.05 Bitcoins, that’s only R150. Contrary to the life in her day dreams Invest is just an unemployed twenty-something living with her mother and younger sister. In truth they are just a normal family trying to make ends meet; more like trying to juggle the many ends that don’t meet. Right now Invest just made a transaction on her PC that she hopes one day will change her financial standing. By spending another R50 on Bitcoins. The Bitcoin price has been steadily increasing for the last couple of months. Now at R3000 per Bitcoin, Crypto currency sparked Invest’s interest on social media, where a friend posted about Bitcoin, a universal currency to be used in everyday financial transactions. She read that thousands of people are exchanging money quickly and easily without any red tape. Constantly on the lookout for ways to make money online Invest jumped at the opportunity. Now a month later she is sold. Doing everything short of stealing, Invest hopes to sell her newly purchased Bitcoin at double the price soon.
Two months after her first Bitcoin purchase, Invest has since bought R1500 worth of Bitcoin. However, with the Bitcoin price remaining quite steady steady around the same price, R20000. Not expecting any more progress Invest sells all her Bitcoins for R1525. This transaction was so simple, it has Invest smitten and hungry for more opportunities to make money with Crypto currency. So Invest has been reading up on other websites that claim to help people maximize their Crypto currency investments. A particularly interesting and popular one has peaked her interest. It’s a Crypto currency based investment program, it offers investment packages that reap monthly returns of up to 100% in Boocoin, a crypto currency used exclusively on the website. Thinking that Crypto currency is such a rapidly expanding market, Invest purchases a package on this website by buying a R500 package in Bitcoin. One month later her R500 Investment has yielded 100% Interest. With hordes of people on social media raving about Boocoin and not wanting to risk missing out a life changing opportunities, she decides to go all in. Invest takes all hers and her mothers savings and a large part of a loan her mother just qualified for and buys a package worth R60 000 in Bitcoin. She buys Bitcoins then transfers the amount to the given Bitcoin address. While she was making these transactions Invest noticed that Bitcoin has been increasing significantly over the past few weeks. Last week, one Bitcoin was R30 000, this week it’s at R40 000 and rapidly appreciating. Invest’s plan is to increase her investment on this website then withdraw and exchange her Boocoin returns for Bitcoins to yield even more interest. Invest has now taken the biggest risk of her life. With bills to pay and promises made, Invest has but her entire family’s eggs in one basket. This is it, no more hustling, no more begging for money from family members, no more borrowing. She feels like she’s coming into her prime. She can literally image breathing in that new car smell.Four months later the Bitcoin price shots through the roof to R200 000, every news media was reporting on it. Stories of people who have become millionaires overnight surfacing all around the world, Bitcoin and Crypto currency became the new buzz words. Invest watched all these reports with excitement. After watching the evening news include Bitcoin on the currency report. She was inspired to withdraw R20 000 worth of Boocoin and exchanged it for Bitcoin then sold those Bitcoins for R20 900. Invest happily spent the money on groceries and clothes, thinking there’s more where that came from so why not spoil her self and her family a bit, they have after all been to hell and back to get to this point, the money for expenses could be withdraw later. Her initial investment had appreciated to R240 000 in Boocoin. She then decides to withdraw the whole amount a little earlier than she wanted to, selling Bitcoins was now proving to be more profitable.Sitting at her desk so similarly to six months ago Invest feels like she’s going to burst or scream or faint. However she sits there heart beating a mile a minute, her breath coming in short intervals. She’ll never forget the past few months. Her mother and sister have been writing lists of all the things they want, it’s been like Christmas all day everyday. Invest can’t remember the last time there was so much happiness at home. Recalling everything that’s been happening puts a smile on Invest’s face, but only for a fleeting moment. Her reality of the past three months comes to mind. Sleepless nights, large transactions take time speeches, feigning a smile in the presence of her family. Honing her creative lying skills.Contrary to the euphoria the world is feeling. Invest has been dying inside bit by bit for the last three months. The local platform had indeed indicated she had R240 000, she clicked withdraw with the biggest smile on her face. One week later, the withdrawal was still pending, Bitcoin price at R220 000. In week two, the withdrawal still pending, Bitcoin price at R240 000 Invest has read the FAQ’s of the website which clearly stated that “withdraws can take up to three weeks”, the panic crept in slowly, so slowly that she thought herself so stupid to doubt something so legitimate, she had after all withdrawn and entire R20 000. Week three, the website posts an update that withdrawals are backlogged due to the rising Bitcoin price, Bitcoin price steady at R240 000. In week four, withdrawal pending, Bitcoin price at R260 000. Week five, withdrawal still pending, Bitcoin price at R280 000.Invest lost hope in week eight, Bitcoin price was at R350 000. In that week she realised that she had backed the wrong horse. Words like Scam, Ponzi Scheme began surfacing. The BooCoin social media followers had mixed opinions, the foolish vs the realists debate sparked. The Bitcoin price has been teetering at around R400 000 for the past three weeks. In other words, Invest’s money has been teetering around R480 000.So if Invest had just left her Bitcoins in her Crypto wallet, she would’ve been hundreds of thousands of rands richer. It would have changed her life. But now she sits here poorer than she’s ever been. Not thousands of rands richer but thousands of rands in debt. Not swimming in cold hard cash, drowning in debt. The chickens have come home to roost that basket full of all Invest’s eggs. The paw paw just went and hit the fan. Sitting at her desk staring at those two words, withdrawal pending, she almost smiles thinking, how many figures of speech she could come up with to describe her currently predicament. She opens a new tab and logs into her Bitcoin wallet, her balance is at R0.0000012. An idea comes to mind, analysts predict Bitcoin to appreciate to one million dollars in future so eyes wide, she opens the calculator App types in the numbers then her body goes slack again. She had thought that maybe if Bitcoin does reach R1000 000 then her balance would become something significant, no such luck. R0.0000012 equals R12. Unfortunately, had she kept just R1 and Bitcoin did hit the million mark, she would have hope to have R1 000 000, but that’s just a pipe dream.

Strangely, tears don’t come, she feels like she’s under water needing to breathe but can’t. She wonders, can a person die of a broken heart?, hopefully, she answers, because she can’t even begin to imagine how to put one foot in front of the other from now onwards. There’s not a happily ever after, just a women who destroyed her life by making the monumental mistake. Where’s the undo button?

Here’s the silver lining: I’m still here, still standing. Money may make us feel like we have nothing, but it sure didn’t give us the life in our breath. Moral of my story – if it sounds too good to be true, get your blinkers off, IT IS!

As we said, a really grabbing story. And we are sure you will feel for it too.

Second Place Goes To

Reyno Dupreez’s story. His story could have been an actual horror movie. He and his family had their lives at stake as a short movie took place and they could have ended in a worse place. I really feared for their safety. Read his story and you will know more.

My story starts, like many who managed to get in pre-2017, with some incredible gains then crash. Although perhaps mine really does have a few true horror elements in it. I got lucky on my timing; I became an absolute crypto-head around the end of 2016, so I managed to catch the big wave in 2017. What started as a double digit $ investment every Friday, finally led to taking the plunge and investing most of my savings, a healthy 4-digit $ amount and 03/2017 – 03/2018 was my golden year. The saying “everybody is a genius in a bull market” is very true. I never had any real trading experience, but managed a 6-digit $ amount by early 2018, mostly through ICOs and buying new hyped coins/tokens. The future looked bright. I started to dream big.

Being relatively new in crypto at that time, I can’t say I expected any sort of bear market. Like many, I didn’t sell the highs and watched everything burn for a while, until I wised up. As most will probably remember, there was a resurgence of the bulls around April/May. I closed my eyes cashed out everything a few weeks after the peak; call it a gut feeling or whatever, maybe I just got very lucky again. I got out with about 60% of my ATH.

At the time I was working as a teacher in Saudi Arabia and scratching my head about what to do with the money. I started researching mining (for a crazy amount of hours) and decided to go all in. It seemed like a solid bet. I figured if the market should completely crash I’d be raking in the BTC and LTC at reduced difficulty and gearing up for the future, screw electricity cost, this is the new paradigm. Being in Saudi allowed me easier access to Bitmain imports and I ordered a wagon-load of S9s and L3+s. They arrived and were put on a ship to South Africa, in a few big-ass heavy boxes. Customs were a headache, but when I got back to SA I managed to have all in my possession 2.5 months after I sent them.

I was ready to be a miner. Setting up was a pain which required some creative wiring due to grid problems and ensuring proper ventilation, but it was a fun challenge. After about 10 days they were all purring in a well ventilated room. The sound of money printers I thought. I had high hopes, the bear market would end soon and I’d travel the world with my feet up enjoying the breeze. Sometime later I had about $1.5k. Power was expensive, but I’d still make a profit.

I was sleeping soundly, but the dog just wouldn’t stop barking (little house dog barking at some noises downstairs). It received some scolding, which it strangely ignored, this was unusual. I sat up and my sister opened my bedroom door. Her silhouette didn’t portray her usual confidence and I could tell something was off. Her words struck me “there’s someone in the house”. It was then when I heard the scuffle and a voice. In her panic she shouted “get the gun”, even though we never owned a gun, in an attempt to scare them off I guess. The next moment two of them came rushing up the stairs and one grabbed her, the other pointed a knife at me. It’s hard to describe that feeling; I can only say that I turned cold as ice. I shouted something and the guy with the knife backed up a little. A 3rd guy came up and started emptying my room, clothes, phone, gaming PC, whatever he saw. Of course the mining rigs were also upstairs and he discovered those in the 3rd bedroom of house, the one next to mine. Took them a few trips to carry all the miners out, and then they were gone and the house was silent.

The police came, dusted and did their thing but not unexpectantly, the perps were never found, neither was there ever a whiff of my mining setups. To this day I’m pretty sure that they had no clue what they were stealing. The police said that this was a routine professional burglary and that they most likely wouldn’t have confronted us or come upstairs if they weren’t spooked (stupid dog / possibility of a gun). I’m inclined to agree with them, they cleared out everything downstairs and I’d like to think they were just about done before the unfortunate confrontation took place. Also I don’t think I was targeted for the miners, hardly anyone knew about them, just family and a few trusted friends (but you never know, right?).

At first I was just happy that my family and I had come off relatively unscathed, but of course, the realisation set in… they took everything. All my gains, all my investments, dreams shattered, ticket to the future cancelled. I was shattered, I had nothing. All I had was the $1.5k which I cashed out soon after and a few Antminer power supplies they left behind for some reason.

Today, it’s not that hard to write about this. Life goes on and I’m over it. I’m thankful for two things – that my family didn’t come to any serious harm, and to a lesser extent, I didn’t “lose” money in the end. Everything I put into crypto, I got out when I cashed out my initial investment + a little extra. I had to start over and I’m back teaching English abroad, putting a few 100 $ a month into my favorite projects BTC, LTC, ETH, ADA and OMG. Here’s to the future… crypto is here to stay.

What a story, huh? What do you think? This one was a thriller for sure.

Third Place Winner

Dries Boshoff’s story. He is teaching us a very good lesson. How to avoid being scammed and ripped off. Or the wise people say “Stupid people learn from their mistakes, smart ones learn from other people’s mistakes”. What we want to say is to read his story carefully and take note. He didn’t have the luxury of someone to show him and explain the bad intentions that many people involved in the cryptocurrency world have. But you will know now and be able to benefit from reading this one. Be safe everyone!

How Crypto ruined my retirement.
No matter how hard you try someone will be devious enough to take advantage of you.
Let me start at my mining genesis. Date: May 2017GPU orders and skelms
It was an immense challenge to secure GPUs There were madness and FOMO.
I prepaid for quite a number of GPU’s and waited. The seller called me a month or 3 later to apologise that their stock was still outstanding, and offered to refund, which I accepted.
The same week that this happened they advertised, as in stock, the exact same GPU at a 30% premium. In effect, what they did was to use my money to import stuff, tel me they cannot deliver and refund me because the items were going at a much higher price due to increasing demand. They saw a gap. Highly unethical.
I had to reorder at another shop at a higher price, fortunately not as high as most going at the time, but lost a lot of mining time waiting for my GPUs that were sold to others at a higher price than my order.GPU rigs, heat and dust.
Because I did not have a clean-room that was air conditioned, the GPU rigs had some problems in summer. They could not handle our hot SA weather. A lot of dust accumulated on the radiator fins of the GPUs and PSUs and complicated things. GPU fans became faulty. Millions (probably only tens) of things were tried but I never could get all the GPUs working together for an extended time. Probably a third of the potential was never reached.ASICS and mining difficulty level.
I was one of the first getting the Bitmain D3 at a premium price. The idea was to get some mining time before all the rest climbed on the bandwagon. Unfortunately the courier company misplaced the item for weeks and others with the much cheaper, same , later ASIC miners, started mining before me.
To compensate I bought three more of the same at a much lower price because Bitmain price their ASICS according to the difficulty of mining going up. The mining went flat before any significant amount of crypto could be mined by me. Heat and dust problems kept me busy.
There was a relatively short time left before the miner became unprofitable. Some of the ASIC cards went AWOL and it was not worth sending them back for repairs due to the expense.
Now the shocker. My electricity bill went up five-fold with the mining. I did not know that the metro was working on a sliding scale. At that stage the tariffs went from R1.50 to R 2.50 /kw/h. This lead to the next hair raiser.Solar woes
The high electricity costs prompted me to go solar. I got quotes from reputable providers. Again I had to pre-pay. Some of the stuff was delivered but not all. This all started at the end of 2017. The order was never completed and the installation never done. What I know is that the supplier and the installer had a fall-out and they could not get together to make it work. Some stuff were delivered according to the supplier, but no proof of delivery can be provided. Almost R200k down the drain. This saga is ongoing.

Containers, scammers, banks and police
Due to the heat , noise and dust, I decided to buy a shipping container and convert it to accommodate the miners in a stable environment.
I called on an advertisement for containers. The person I spoke to said that their containers were used only once and are in a very good condition. I asked if I could see them on Tuesday. The seller said that unfortunately he only had time on Saturday. On Saturday I went to the yard and examined the containers. They were really good.
I paid the half the price as a deposit and waited for delivery. It was not delivered because the yard informed me that they would not release it before full payment. Which I did. Still no delivery.
Called again and the guy said that they will not deliver before I paid half price as adeposit for insurance of which they will refund 98%. This is when I realised that something is wrong, so I went to the company who manages the yard.
This is how they explained the scam to me. The scammer organises with the guard at the gate of the yard to let us in. The scammer shows you everything. You confidently pay as you know the item is good and available, but it will never arrive. As it takes three days between banks for an EFT I called my bank’s fraud line. They could have stopped the EFT, but did not. They referred me to a third part fraud investigator. I had to fill in a form with the details, but never heard from them again. Lost.
As I still wanted a container I decided to get away from the Gauteng scammers, thus went for Bloemfontein. Once bitten twice shy.
I looked for the advertising yard, at the address, using Google Earth. There was no yard, but it showed attorneys next to it. I called them and they told me that they have heard the name before. It is common to have an office in a less than industrial setting.
They looked up the telephone number for me and I called. No answer, but not everyone is in office all the time. I called the Cell number from the advertisement and then ordered another container.
The terms were that I pay half the price as a deposit, which I did, and the rest upon delivery. It never arrived, as they suddenly wanted full payment beforehand. Not what was agreed upon. This is when I realised that I may have the same situation as with the previous one.
Again, though it takes three days for an EFT to another bank and I called on the bank, they fobbed me off in exactly the same way as before. I asked for a refund but was ignored.
So, I went to the police. A senior officer asked me if I wanted a case number for insurance purposes. I said no. The officer then asked me if I realistically expected of them to follow up on my complaint when the cannot even handle the murder and assault cases. I saw the point and left without further reporting.
Another R50k down the drain, taking both units into account.

Ethereum scam
This happened when I just got into mining. Full of enthusiasm and unfortunately very ignorant.
It was the typical setup. Give a carrot. Put in your key to get more and assure your account is safe.
They took the three ETH I had. This was probably the least I lost, keeping everything in mind.

Hindsight

The time I spent with Crypto was quite fascinating and exciting. I would love to have it again, only without major losses. I took a chance (did not realise it at the time) and am suffering from the consequences. This venture will probably lead to me losing my house.
The uncertainty of Crypto was not the biggest issue. The providers (scammers) did the worst damage.
Now the only thing I can do is to hope that prices of Crypto becomes big again. Anyone who want to buy a ASIC miner for its historical value?

Conclusion

There are many more stories that have been shared with us and you. If you were interested and willing to read more, click the link and see all of the amazing stories that have been shared. Get back and comment with your opinion about them.

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