Two football players from two Brazilian clubs fell for the bait of crypto scammers who promised an income of 5% per month. A colleague from another club invited the players to participate in the pyramid.

Last May Mayke of Palmeiras Football Club and Gustavo Scarpa of Nottingham Forest invested about R$11 million ($2 million) in WLJC. The company stated that it provides consulting services and helps clients invest in cryptocurrencies.

One of the partners of the WLJC is the football player Willian Gomes de Siqueira, the striker of the Fluminense club, who led Maike and Scarpa to the pyramid.

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When the athletes did not receive any profits or their money back, both sued the WLJC and demanded the termination of the contract with a refund.

The hearing of the case is scheduled for October 2023. Di Siqueira himself claims that he is innocent and also lost 17.5 million reais ($3.3 million) on investments.

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Other Palmeiras players also took part in the pyramid, but their amounts are small, so the athletes refuse to sue the company.

In December, Italian and Albanian police exposed a crypto-currency scam that attracted 15 million euros (over $15.9 million) of investors. The organizers of the scheme contacted investors from a call center in the Albanian capital Tirana using virtual phone numbers and virtual private networks (VPNs), law enforcement officials say. The attackers offered victims investments in cryptocurrencies with a minimum level of risk, persuading them to open an account on a special platform.