|I, the crown prince of Nigeria, offer you|
|Hook, line, and sinker|
|Totally sounds legit!|
Dinar revaluation is an investment scam that appeared in the mid 2000s. The scam is based on the rapid devaluation of the Iraqi dinar in the years after the Iraq War. In the early 1990s, the Iraqi dinar was worth over three American dollars. Years of sanctions, warfare, social collapse and "peacekeeping actions" have reduced its price to 1/1500th of an American dollar.
People with alleged "inside sources" have told legions of
suckers investors that the USA is planning to revalue the dinar at some point in the future, either pinning it directly to the U.S. dollar or restoring it to its former 1990s value. They then proceed to sell dinars, either in cash or in a questionable holding account with a markup of up to 25%. These hopeful investors ("dinarians") hold on to their barely-worth-the-paper-it's-printed-on currency and look forward to Uncle Sam giving them a miracle 100,000% return on their investment.
Dinar scammers can be difficult to prosecute since it is not illegal to sell foreign currencies as a numismatic collectible. Other scammers register as broadly defined "money service businesses."
Why it might seem plausable
The Iraq War was an absolute quagmire that required occupation of the country, and fighting of various insurgent groups for years after Shrub had officially declared victory. If someone deeply held the belief that America was fixing Iraq and that nothing America did there was wrong or a bad idea, then Iraq's recovery seemed highly feasible. The scam relies on the idea that there's just a few things wrong and that the moment X infrastructure is rebuilt or Y terrorist organization is defeated, the country will mend right up and its economy will go off like a rocket.
Neither of these facts leads to any reason why or how an overinflated, overprinted currency could have its buying power increased by orders of magnitude, but such things could be implied to the right sort of person in the right mindset.
The Trump bump
Dinar revaluation scams received a boost during the Trump presidency. His February 19th, 2017 speech mentioned that currencies would be on a "level playing field." Since Trump often speaks incoherently, a lot of what he says is open to multiple interpretations. He was likely supposed to be talking about devaluations in the Chinese yuan following U.S./Chinese trade wars and tariffs but if one had a pocket full of dying dinars and a running start they might make that leap of logic.
There was also an ongoing rumor that Trump was heavily invested in Iraqi dinars and would initiate revaluation to enrich himself. It would not be off brand for him, but it was just another rumor about some miracle that Trump might pull off but ultimately wouldn't.
The Trump slump
Putting the kibosh on the idea that Trump even knew what a dinar was in 2018, during his presidency, the US Department of Justice convicted the co-owners (Tyson Rhame, James Shaw, and Frank Bell) of one of the largest dinar exchanges (Sterling Currency Group). Sterling Currency Group had defrauded $600 million from investors.
Why it's bullshit
The most visible problem is that the revaluation of the dinar shows all the earmarks of a failed prophetic movement. The promises are huge, the time of fulfillment is forthcoming and the failed due dates will just keep coming, only to be replaced by later dates which will themselves fail to produce results.
The government of Iraq is not too stable and its debt is very high compared to its GDP. If the country's debt is valued in its own currency a hyper-deflationary currency would make their debt unpayable. This would extend to any debts calculated in Iraqi dinars. It would simply be a risky and thoughtless maneuver for the government of Iraq to accept such a deal.
The Iraqi Dinar is not a Forex-listed currency: major banks won't touch it and the best way to get a major currency for your dinars is to sell it at a modest loss to the shady dealers who sold you those dinars.
DAESH is still an active player in Iraq. Any sort of dinar stash or slush fund that DAESH is using to buy weapons, bribe security and similar terrorism-related actions will ALSO be multiplied by orders of magnitude. A huge boon for shady arms merchants across the globe, but not a good move for America.
A 2020 devaluation of the dinar by Iraq's Central Bank in the wake of a year of very low oil prices puts yet another nail in the coffin of potential dinar millionaires.
- QAnon — a successor scam, without the more obvious financial fraud elements
- ABC News Sep 16 2006 - Betting Millions on Iraqi Money
- Forbes Jul 30 2012 You Can't Fix Stupid: The Iraqi Dinar Scam Lives
- The Iraqi Dinar Scam
- Washington State Dept. of Financial Institutions on Iraqi Dinar Scams
- Money Services Business defined
- CNBC - Video of Feb 10th, 2017 "Level playing field" speech.
- Newsweek Nov 20 2018 Donald Trump Supporters Think President Will Make Them Rich If They Buy Iraqi Money
- Seattle Times Oct 18 2020 "ISIS attacks surge even as Trump boasts of a ‘100%’ defeated caliphate"
- The Daily Beast Mar 20 2019 Trump Fans Sink Savigs into Iraqi Dinar Scam
- Owners of currency exchange business that made $600 million convicted of fraud (October 10, 2018) United States Department of Justice.
- Arkansas Online Dec 20, 2020