Inside a Bitcoin Scam

How to Make US $18 million in 12 hours…or get scammed trying

In this article, Invest in Blockchain takes a first-hand look at what a Bitcoin scam can look like.

Bitcoin has been coined ‘digital gold’ for its reputation as a  viable long-term investment, a sentiment reinforced by Fidelity Investments, a US$2.3 trillion asset management firm.

But cryptocurrency can also be fool’s gold. I explore what happens when you venture down the rabbit hole of unscrupulous exploiters and seedy promises of cryptocurrency investment.

Bitcoin Edition: Fool’s Gold

A century ago, California, Australia, and South Africa all had their gold rush, with people streaming in from all over the world to cash in on the shiny new commodity that was guaranteed to blow all your troubles away with its promise of fame and fortune.

But mining gold wasn’t as simple as keep going until you hit paydirt. Enticed by the opportunity to leech off people’s hopes and dreams, scammers abound and were more than happy to relieve some poor hapless miner of his painstakingly earned find. Sometimes it was synthetic gold, sometimes a Gold-o-meter, but always scammers were at the ready to part someone from their gold.

Today, bitcoin’s digital gold make scammers eager to sell victims fool’s gold: something with a superficial resemblance to gold (in this case, a desire to cash in on the bitcoin craze), but turns out to be a false positive (meaning, you’ll be taken for a ride that you are paying for).

Bitcoin Scams on Facebook

Trawling Facebook groups and subReddits, offerings to “get rich quick” are a dime a dozen. Cryptocurrency is the Wild West, and there are rogue cowboys everywhere who are eager to don the hat and put on their snake oil salesman cap.

Lately, many Facebook groups have been cleaned up and strict rules enforced in an attempt to clean up content. It’s not often you go looking for a scam, but it was heartening that it took me a good few hours to find one.

Cryptoland - Bitcoin and Altcoin Community Facebook Group Scam Post

 

Cryptoland – Bitcoin and Altcoin Community, a group of 22,390 members, clearly doesn’t like spammers. Neither do Crypto Coin Trader‘s 42,470 members.

Crypto Coin Trader Facebook Group Spam Post

 

Finally, I made the connection. The most sophisticated scams come not in the form of a random link spammed all over well-administrated groups in cryptoville. Instead, the groups are the scams. And voila! Just like that, I discovered the motherlode.

Digging Deeper into Bitcoin World Traders

When a Facebook group has 12,630 members, it surpasses the small, still voice at the back of your mind saying, “this doesn’t appear to be very legit”. After all, that’s the foundation that social proof is built on.

 

Bitcoin World Traders Facebook Group

 

A quick look at members’ posts makes it clear that this is the hottest place to be on the internet right now.  Sad that most of them appear to be bots or hacked accounts. I would’ve loved to get their take on their newfound riches.

Skhumbuzo Godfrey, who made 70.41 BTC (to a total value of US$483,844.56) thanks to the group’s magical traders, says:

by d end of this year i will be so rich that my neighbors will think am selling dope because bitcoinworldtraders keeps paying and paying me. this is like my third time and am so happy. well well can’t wait till December 1st to invest again and hopefully i will be a millionaire by then.

Vincent Sparrow could bring tears to your eyes with his heartfelt story:

Kenya is a hard country and for a 22 year old boy like me to have $ 234,659.95 (24,357,468.15 Kes) is just unbelievable and impossible but this group facebook.com/groups/Bitcoinworldtraders made it possible. I had to sell half of my late step dads property to make this investment but am happy I did. Now am planning to get a house sorry mansion for my mum here in kenya. Thanks BitcoinWorld Tradersadmin, you are my savior.

Harmeet Singh, meanwhile, echoes most investors’ worst nightmare. Whether or not it’s a real profile, it’s a reminder that playing with fire means getting burned.

I just put in all i have into this group, hope i get paid tomorrow, my family and children are depending on this, please i beg u in d name of Allah don’t disappoint me. Here is also the hash id for the transaction [hash ID omitted]

One of the group’s success stories was so thankful, he even let his nails grow wild for the photo opp.

Bitcoin World Traders scam

I commented on a post, eager to learn more about the biggest deal the internet doesn’t know about. Especially since “Steal if you can, in 24 hours u [sic] refund what u stole” is sound investment advice.

Bitcoin World Traders Scam

My comment, however, got removed fairly quickly. Apparently, I was not adhering to their strict scam-proof policy….

Bitcoin World Traders scam

Soon thereafter, though, Facebook lets me know someone else has commented on the post. Bingo! This is not a fire drill: the scam is affecting real people.

Bitcoin World Traders scam

I contacted the poster – let’s call him ‘Mr Hopeful – straight away; good timing, as he was shortly thereafter banned from the group. An engineer from the Philippines, he is a husband and father to four lovely children. Buying into the golden promises made by the group and spurred on by what seemed to be above-board social proof in the form of user videos, he took the plunge and invested.

After hearing his story, I needed no further encouragement and dove straight in. There are 7 admins in the group, of which I contacted BitcoinWorld Tradersadmin. This is the same person that was in communication with our Mr Hopeful, and appears to be most active in the group.

Bitcoin World Traders Scam

A quick look at his profile suggests the possibility that the owner is Vietnamese-speaking. However, with no identifiable person details, it’s very likely not a lived-in profile.

Bitcoin World Traders scam

Mr Popular has a lot of friends … no surprise there, being Father Crypto Christmas and all.

Bitcoin World Traders scam

How to Win, or Lose Trying

I played the part of ‘clueless eager beaver’. Initial contact was met with a generic copy-pasted message on the nitty-gritty of this (let’s face it) once-in-a-lifetime experience. A hundredfold profit, and that within 24 hours?! Why are you still here reading? This is the big break we’ve all been waiting for.

Bitcoin World Traders Bitcoin World Traders

I continued playing the fool … anything for fool’s gold, right? But I have US$18,000 to bank as soon as I get this bitcoin-stuff all figured out.

My alter ego might have failed math, but there’s no way this sum is getting away from me. 12 hours (apparently even 24 hours was too long a wait to break into millionaire-dom) later, I will have a guaranteed (no, really, guaranteed) US$1.8 million in the bitcoin bank. How much does your investment portfolio make you, huh?

King Midas – heaven-sent as he is – explained that I owe praise for my future fortune to the expertise of “a group of traders who come together from different parts of the world” to trade like no one else in the world can. Move over, Wall Street! There are anons in the house of cards! Best of all, not to worry, they shave off their commission before they give me my +100. What a sweet deal this is!

 

No. No, that wasn’t best of all. Not only do I now have the roadmap on how to become a gazillionaire, but as a “highest investor” [sic] I will be eligible to join their “customer care” (which, one would presume, includes sharing my unheard-of successes on the Facebook group). And later, (if I’m a good girl?), I’ll be “upgraded to the trading sector” (when I’m big?).

A quick calculation (see, when there are millions at stake, I learn to count real quick) tells me the referral program will be even better than my initial 12-hour road trip to my first million. After all, there’s not a friend on my list who wouldn’t want to buy the keys to their financial kingdom in less than a day. Especially when it’s a guaranteed no-loss, exponential gain.

I didn’t continue the conversation because my source showed me where it would lead.  Unfortunately, he did take the plunge and invest. A quick scam-your-bitcoin-off-you is not the only thing this operation is after. There’s an additional ticking time bomb … as our source, Mr Hopeful, finds out. His unfortunate story is next.

Losing More than Just Bitcoin: Mr Hopeful’s Bitcoin Tale

What follows is the Facebook Messenger exchange between Mr Hopeful and the admin of the Bitcoin World Traders group. Remaining anonymous, this investor has agreed to let Invest in Blockchain use screenshots of his exchange with Bitcoin World Traders for the purpose of bringing the group’s dealings to light. He shared this with me stating, ”

Bitcoin World Traders scam

The significance of seeing the gains made by others is precisely why our source decide investing is a good call. After all, a whole Facebook group full of random people can’t be lying, right?

At the time of press, US$386.74 amounted to 19,803.01 Philippines Peso. The median monthly family income in the Philippines is 22,000 Peso. This is the kind of money that feeds a whole family.

You might think buying into something that – quite obviously – looks like a scam is self-inflicted pain. But to the average person, who has a head full of dreams and no frame of reference for how bitcoin – or even investing, for that matter – is put together, graduating from the school of hard knocks often come at an experiential price.

Thanks to an unexpected trading “jackpot” that just so happens to occur at the time he invests, the investor can now increase his windfall from a hundredfold to a thousandfold. Assuming he invests another 0.6 bitcoin.

Bitcoin World Trader scam
Editor’s note: Original image has been replaced by an updated screenshot due to an incoming message of a personal nature captured on the original screenshot

Thank goodness for budgets and weekly limits.

King Midas isn’t feeling up to divulging his treasure troves today. ‘Ask about your own 50 bitcoin, not my trillions.’

And with this, the bomb is dropped. Suddenly,  those bitcoin exchange regulations requiring ID verification no longer seems so intrusive. Not when compared to this unexpected demand of parting with your Facebook login details.

The lack of social proof on this particular little step which isn’t mentioned anywhere else is easily explained: Since no one wants their personal details blasted across the web (‘cos just imagine the damage if it got into villainous hands), the group’s poster children had simply erased it from their process sharing.

By now, our investor’s asking questions. Something isn’t computing.

Bitcoin World Traders scam

Au naturel, King Midas is playing hard to get. Is he planning on going rogue?

Not if you’ll do his bidding…so do it. Now!

Yes, the rest of us don’t understand it either. Nakamoto never mentioned Facebook, did he?

 

And with that, BitcoinWorld Tradersadmin went cold.

Caveat Emptor

Spurred on by bitcoin’s crazy upward climb, investing success stories in the media, and friends’ and acquaintances’ boasts, cryptocurrency is inspiring many virgin investors to throw caution to the wind and “get in before it’s too late”.

But the age-old adage applies: if it’s too good to be true, that’s probably because it isn’t.  Research investments thoroughly, get to know the industry (which is why resources like Invest in Blockchain exist!) and do your due diligence. This is the technological age, and anything can be tampered with to make you see what isn’t there.

Don’t end up like Mr Hopeful.

20 Comments

  • Alana
    Posted November 15, 2017 7:07 am 0Likes

    Great article Nadja! This needs highlighted as many beginners are going to get taken full advantage of! I saw the same thing happeneing but with an ICO in USI https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/usi-tech/ has a good explanation but seems that these things people have the blinders on and just out to make money without a long term approach (or care) .. anyway, glad to see people are exposin the fraud as it seems it has only begun!

  • Ric
    Posted November 23, 2017 12:02 am 0Likes

    Hi Nadja-
    Nothing makes a roach scatter like a little bit of sunshine! Luckily, if you give ME one of the bitcoin you won, I can turn it into a zillion* dollars! Stop thinking, invest now!
    On a serious note it appears the group still shows up in searches. Did you report this to FB? As messed up as they can be, FB does seem to police their pages of fraudsters (it’s not like they don’t have tons of data on the ringleaders).

    cheers,
    Admin

    *so rich you can hire nobel laureate mathematicians to “discover” the number: zillion…

  • Maya
    Posted September 5, 2018 1:19 am 0Likes

    I was ripped off by a bogus broker recently it was difficult to get a withdrawal after many failed attempts. I had to hire a recovery solution firm to get my money back. mayabanin01atgmaildotcom

  • Binaryoptionsrecoveryspecialist.com
    Posted October 4, 2018 5:27 pm 0Likes

    Hello these fake brokers take advantage of people who seem low risk and fragile. It sucks when all you wanted to do was to invest your money into something that secures a better future for yourself and your family only to get ripped off. I can recommend a solution to anyone whose in this situation and interested.

  • Krebs Anthony
    Posted October 27, 2018 9:43 pm 0Likes

    Please beware there are many fake bitcoin mining/clouding out there, I got scammed twice before I met a genius hacker who helped retrieve my bitcoin. The whole plan was so smooth I could not doubt it. Bitcoin is actually a great investment option but one thing I discovered over time is that it is not possible to mine bitcoin so don’t be deceived. I invested $25000 on a particular website called eurekaminingblock, I monitored the profit yielding but got locked out of the account before I could withdraw. I went online and met this hacker bitcoinretrievalgenius who helped me retrieve my bitcoins back in few hours. You saved my life and I will forever be grateful. I referred my friends whom we got scammed together right away and they got help too. You can contact bitcoinretrievalgenius gmail com or text/call and whatsapp (973)602)9881. Thank me later!

  • Amy Michael
    Posted November 19, 2018 8:32 pm 0Likes

    Finally I have been able to retrieve all my lost funds of about $150,000, which I never believed I would get again from an unregulated broker who had my money for over 4 months and denied my access to my trading account. I’m so glad that I have gotten back all my funds all thanks to a certified binary option recovery expert (ASTRAHACKLORD at GMAIL dot COM). Have you lost money to any investment online and confused with no idea on how to go about recovering it? Astrahacklord would help you get it back, i trust him.

  • Sophiawillz
    Posted January 5, 2019 2:44 pm 0Likes

    If you are a victim of stolen bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, and you are trying for how to get your coins back, I recommend you visit Chuck at (Wyvernchuck at GMAIL dot COM) to help you recover them. He just assisted me in recovering the bitcoin I lost to Yobit scam crypto currency website. I am thankful to him and grateful for the support he rendered

  • Scott
    Posted January 16, 2019 5:20 am 0Likes

    Times have changed. Technology is evolving everyday. There are new innovations that do not only trace bitcoin addresses but find out what platform or exchange they belong to. Anyone would agree that this is a big step in recovering coins. I lost over $120000 to IQ Option but thanks to oxomar and his team for their professional and Ethical service rendered in recovering all of my money from this scam binary options company. You can mail them if you need to recover your money back also. Information is Key.
    Mail; admin @ oxomarhackers dot com

  • JOHN STUTE
    Posted January 28, 2019 8:38 am 0Likes

    No long talks if you have lost your bitcoin to scam or any other way i recommend you talk to this guy i am from South Africa and helped me…i can assure you he will get you a huge percentage of what you have lost if not all…..(Guardianofpeace247 at GMAIL dot COM)…he will help(he also helps with bitcoin mining so you can make money even from home

  • Hack Ethics
    Posted January 29, 2019 9:11 pm 0Likes

    Most people have lost their hard earned money through this BINARY OPTIONS TRADINGS, yet they would go to meet FAKE HACKERS who are also scammers unknowingly to help them recover their money and they would end up losing more money in the process. Hack Ethics is a Trusted certified Ethical Recovery Expert and Reliable Hacker who renders any desired hacking services you want/need. CONTACT EMAIL OR SKYPE – HACKETHICS008 AT GMAIL DOT COM

  • Payne Butler
    Posted February 9, 2019 6:23 am 0Likes

    Recover all funds lost to binary options scam, Bitcoin scam or basically any stolen money. The government is doing absolutely nothing to peg this menace. I even filled a report about my loss to the FBI and paid for proper trace and possible recovery of my lost investment. Time wasting and their lackadaisical attitude made me look elsewhere for help.
    Thankfully, my old friend referred me to a colleague of his (who specializes and has the required skilled set in recovering funds lost to the wrong hands .(Bitcoinretrieval2018 Gmail Com )

  • Charles
    Posted March 12, 2019 12:24 am 0Likes

    [NOTICE: If you are a FOREX or BINARY OPTION or CRYPTO/DIGITAL CURRENCY Trader and you have withdrawal problems or feel you have been cheated by your respective brokers, there are provisions on how you can get you funds returned back to you within 7 days interval. You have the chance to end your problems now. Contact me via charlesrobert6310@gmail .com) for assistance

    Note, you don’t have to pay any upfront fee to get your lost fund back..provision has been made by the binary option and cryptocurrency community desk, get in touch for more info, charlesrobert6310@gmail .com]

  • Darell
    Posted March 17, 2019 7:25 am 0Likes

    I trust the procedures i used to recover my funds from binary options and cryptocurrency trade, Before I refer you to them i know they can help you,It’s all left for you now, if you want to get back your money or not,if you still want to let go of it you can still decide it on your own so they are not forcing you to pay them for the upfront fee, %100 sure guaranteed that they can help you get back your lost funds , but if you can’t afford their little upfront fee, you can still try another recovery company. contact me via email: darellphilip630@gmail . com for more info on how to recover your lost funds. And i will guide you on steps to take and get back all you have lost.

  • Ali Lee
    Posted March 24, 2019 9:05 am 0Likes

    Mr Bailey gave me hope when i thought i have lost it all, i never knew i could become a successful trader until i started crypto, trading forex/binary options with his strategy and making a huge sum of $20k weekly, with his strategy is not a joke.GOD bless you sir contact him via gmail: baileyaart1199 and recoup all what your broker platform must have stolen from you back.

  • STANLEY STEVEN
    Posted May 7, 2019 9:59 pm 0Likes

    Hi, if you see these reviews online about a team like this, i dont know what other doubts you can possibly have not to hire this team for fund recovery and other hacking services. Check abstracttechinc.com
    Lodge your complaints for binary/forex scams on abstracttechinc.com, a verified tech group that deal in recovery process with the help of lawyers all over the world to help victims be able to legally recover their funds. This group provide lot of other hacking services which can be checked on their website if thats where you need help. I was able to recover 75% of my funds though, had to use their hacking service for again and wow, what an amazing job they did.- James Carson.
    Thank you abstracttechinc, i could not have been able to recover my funds. i have actually tried lawyers in my country and they could not help, even birman law took my money. With Abstract Tech, i recovered 15000 CAD with my initial deposit. – Olivia Clark

  • CONTACT FEMALEHACKERZ1 AT GEEMAIL DOT COM
    Posted May 25, 2019 9:43 pm 0Likes

    I CAN HELP

  • Fran Soto
    Posted May 30, 2019 10:44 am 0Likes

    I’m not suppose to be here doing this but i cant just help it, So straight to my story…..I started having interest in cryptocurrency when i saw my friend that invested early this year have earn about 70K USD as at now which he clearly explain to me how he started with 4K USD just with the help and guides of prof Sydney. He made me know how he contacted the prof and how the prof genuinely shed more light on crypto to him that they will be around forever and how it is very important to keep bitcoins even if it is 1 btc. I proceed to check a lot reviews on prof Sydney and i wasnt disappointed because i finally found a lot of good articles about bitcoins mining where nobody cries scamm. I think it pleasant to work with him which i did and i never regret emailing the prof. He help me mine 3.45 bitcoins in less than 72 hours and i am able to reinvest again so i can acquire more btc. (Profsydneycryptoconsultancy at gmail dot com)

  • Martins smith
    Posted June 22, 2019 3:35 pm 0Likes

    I also lost about $175,000 to an IQ option broker and 2 fake binary option website as well but I am sharing my experience here so as to enlighten and educate everyone that is losing money or has lost money to a scam including binary options, dating scams,Recover all your lost money to Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency, mortgage/realestate scams and fake ICOs.However , I have been able to recover all the money I lost to the scammers with the help of a recovery professional and I am pleased to inform you that there is hope for everyone that has lost money to scam.you can reach out to them
    EASYRECOVERY4@ GMAIL COM

  • Michael Jonah
    Posted July 19, 2019 10:19 am 0Likes

    Times have changed. Technology is evolving everyday. There are new innovations that do not only trace bitcoin addresses but find out what platform or exchange they belong to. Anyone would agree that this is a big step in recovering coins. I lost over $60000 to Binary Options Trading but thanks to a private hacker and his team for their professional and Ethical service rendered in recovering all of my money from this scam binary options company. You can mail them if you need to recover your money back also. Information is Key.
    Contact:
    Hackassets via google mail
    Bitcoinrecoveryteam via yandex .ru for proficient services.

  • Theresa Ann
    Posted August 10, 2019 2:21 pm 0Likes

    Write above if you need help

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.