Matt Lorion, a 17-year-old TikTok influencer known for promoting cryptocurrencies online, has released a new video apologizing for a Star Wars-themed scam he promoted. Last week, Lorion sang the praises of a new cryptocurrency called Mando that turned out to be a pump-and-dump scam. But Lorion says he had no idea it was a fraud.
“The other day I promoted a cryptocurrency named Mando, which... the developers pretty much scammed everyone, including me,” Lorion said in the TikTok video.
“Some of you guys invested into Mando, and also myself, I had $10,000 invested. All of it is gone now,” Lorion continued.
The website for the Mando cryptocurrency was registered a week ago today on March 25 and featured plenty of images from the hit Disney+ show “The Mandalorian”—images all used without permission, of course.
The website is currently a shell of its former self, stripped of the instructions on how to “buy” this new cryptocurrency through a website called PancakeSwap.
The Twitter account, which has also been deleted, had another method of “buying” Mando tokens, which was captured by users on 4Chan last week who wondered whether it was a scam.
The MandoToken.com site wasn’t even online long enough to be indexed by Google or the Wayback Machine, but a cryptocurrency YouTuber captured images from the website in a video from March 27. The images show the promotion of a “pre-sale” where people could buy-in to this new memecoin.
Whoever was behind Mando released a “white paper” filled with unverifiable claims about how the token had been tested. Lorion claims in the video that he lost $10,000 of his own money in the scam, but that could not be verified independently on Thursday.
“So to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again, my management team is going to get in contact with every single developer before I promote a cryptocurrency,” Lorion said in his apology video.
“We’re going to do background checks and we’re going to make sure that everything we’re promoting is 100% legit and in it for the long term. And I just want to clarify, from here on out, whenever I promote a cryptocurrency, this is just me showing light to the crypto,” Lorion said. “You guys want to do your own research and make sure that you are putting in money into something that you believe in long-term.”
Lorion’s latest video is about a new cryptocurrency called Elongate, which he acknowledges that people think is yet another scam. But Lorion swears this coin is legit and he’s even gotten involved to prove just how not-scammy it is. The Elongate currency is based on a tweet from billionaire Elon Musk, who said that if he’s ever in a scandal he’d like it to be known as Elongate.
One of Lorion’s videos on Elongate has over 4 million views, something that has obviously excited other people who have invested in the crypto after hearing about it on TikTok or Reddit. Lorion did not respond to a request for comment sent through Instagram.
It’s difficult to differentiate between a pump-and-dump scheme and virtually everything else in the crypto world right now since the entire world of cryptocurrencies depends on people having faith in the system. When people make off with the real money and leave others holding nothing—zero dollars and zero cents—that erodes faith in the future of other things like bitcoin and ether, even if they’re not explicitly short-term “scams” in the traditional sense of the word.
“I can’t even put into words how crappy I feel right now and how sorry I am for what happened,” Lorion said. “Thank you guys for understanding and something like this is not going to be happening again.”