I hate scammers! They are so lazy – get a job! I have been the victim of a scam or three in my time. I’ve talked a little about being scammed out of £4000 on eBay and more recently I was rinsed out of $90 by Bitcoin Black who I have already outed. The thing for me is, some of these scams are quite sophisticated, the eBay one was quite profesh looking so clearly these people have skills – why not use them in a job instead of fleecing innocent people out of their hard earned cash!
This is going to be an ongoing post exposing scams in the cryptocurrency world that I have come across on my journey. If you have any sites you’d like investigated or you have a scam story to share, please leave a message in the comments below.
I will provide the URL of the site if I have it but it is FOR REFERENCE ONLY DO NOT CLICK ON IT the site is a scam and who knows what it might do to your computer, leave it to me to conduct investigations on my old already virus ridden but still lovely purple laptop.
Bitcoin Trader (or as I’m calling it BitCon Trader) – https(yes really!)://bitcoin-trader.biz
This website appeared when I was looking at something else – I think they are called ‘pop up’ or ‘pop under’ ads. It talks a good shop (sounds alright), introduces the founders (always seem to be students!) Jeff and Mike – regular sounding guys, goes into detail about how they just want to help people to be able to trade without learning any special skills (appealing to newbies) has different sections where you can test it out, profesh looking graphs (baffle you with bs) and the clincher that got me and a lot of others – it has a big picture of moneysavingexpert.com founder Martin Lewis on the front – implying he endorses it, which of course he doesn’t.
I always trust Martin’s advice so I nearly just clicked on it then I remembered seeing a picture of Lacey Turner (Stacey Slater in Eastenders) pasted on some porn ad or other that popped up on a short link somewhere and thinking she couldn’t possibly and wondering if she knew her image was being used in that way so instead I typed ‘Bitcoin Trader – scam or legit?’ into Google and found this ‘interview with Martin Lewis’ the bs level is staggering, poor Martin works so hard to help others this is such an insult to him and what he’s trying to do (although it’s kind of a reverse compliment that they tried to ride on the coattails of his credibility).
The ‘interviewer’ Susanna Reid is a journalist and TV presenter on Good Morning Britain, nay doubt this ‘interview’ would be news to her too! I’ve cut and pasted it in its entirety but I don’t think anyone is coming after me for plagiarism considering it’s just one big crock! I’ve italicised it because I don’t know how to change the colour or I’d just make it manure coloured!
Just saw this:
Heard of Bitcoin? THIS Is How You Can Make £1,000’s With It In 2018
(Saturday, April 21, 2018) – Martin Lewis talks about trading Crypto (like Bitcoin) to make 10x gains in the span of months, using “Bitcoin Trader.” Crypto isn’t going anywhere.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, for a special segment: How To Retire A Millionaire In 10 Years, Martin Lewis talks tricks and tips on investing in Crypto-Currency, that every middle income earner must do to reach 7-figure status in only a few years.
The answer may surprise you. All it requires is the press of a button to make your trades, and access to Silicon Valley’s most advanced trading algorithms through your Bitcoin Trader representative; For the first time: available to the public.
Susanna Reid – “So let me understand this. You’re encouraging income earners of all types to invest some of their money in Crypto Currencies using: Bitcoin Trader? Why are you so in favor of this Crypto-Currency Trading Tool?”
Martin Lewis – “It’s simple Susanna. Crypto Currencies are just getting started. Using Bitcoin Trader is the simplest way to uncover the most profitable coins, without any prior knowledge. The algorithm helps your Bitcoin Trader representative give you the edge on everyone else. Users can make more than the stock market with this. £1,000 invested today, could be worth £100,000 by 2022. You can’t find that anywhere!”
Susanna Reid – “So, you’re pushing for crypto-currency trading, like Bitcoin? Why recommend this investment?”
Martin Lewis – “Well, let’s be clear. I’m not saying: invest in Bitcoin, only. By using Bitcoin Trader, you can trade 1000’s of crypto currencies with the press of a button. Bitcoin is only one currency. I’ve made my biggest earnings, trading smaller currencies that are just now becoming popular.”
Susanna Reid – “How does this, Bitcoin Trader work? Sounds like it would be more complicated than that to buy currency.
Martin Lewis: – “No. That’s why it’s incredible. You don’t even need a knowledge of Bitcoin to be successful. The algorithm your representative uses looks at millions of transactions across thousands of currencies, every minute! It is constantly determining which currencies are increasing in value, and sells off those currency who’s trade volumes are slowing. It’s impossible to lose with this.”
Susanna Reid – “Tell us Martin, you were just saying this is the best time for middle income families to break out of a middle-income lifestyle, why is that?
Martin Lewis: – “Well, Susanna, think about it, up until now, your average income families, never had access to the same tools as the mega-wealthy.”
“For example, your multi-millionaire and even billionaire earners can hire Hedge Funds with trading algorithms, to continually analyze millions of transactions across stocks, to continuously place their money in the best investments. But finally, we live in an era, where people who cannot afford the £50,000 fees, can access tools that do the exact same things.”
Susanna Reid – “That all sounds pretty incredible. Do you have any closing remarks for our viewers?
Martin Lewis: – “Get in now. The beginning is just starting. Even if you’re only putting in £1,000 or at least £350. You need to just get started. You’re going to earn 100x your investment, if you let this tool invest for you.
Quite something eh? Not sure why they’re not getting sued! That is just one page, these scammers went to the bother of building a website (including the ability to change the language from English to Espanol, Deutsch or Italian) and they are peddling their muck all over t’internet. This is what I’m trying to learn (building a website NOT muck peddling – keep up!) and it might just be me but it’s hard work so again I say “why not put your skills to work legitimately, stop robbing people, these are not victimless crimes, you are scamming real money off real people who really cannae afford to pay YOUR way in life, you might say you’re playing off people’s greed but that’s not a justifiable reason to take what doesn’t belong to you, catch some morals for goodness sake, stop profiting by inflicting misery on others and get a f£€king job!”
Whilst researching I went on a site called Trustpilot, it’s a website where you can leave customer reviews and the company then gets a Trustscore rating based on the reviews and how many stars they are given (1 to 5 stars) I am a member and am thinking of putting their logo on my own websites. So I dove a wee bit deeper into the site and found out that ‘BitCon Traders’ has a Trustscore rating of 2.5/5, admittedly that’s not very high but for a scam it gives it some credibility and might be enough for some people to invest thinking that as a new company they might not have been reviewed much yet and they might use the fact that they are on Trustpilot at all as another means to gain cred.
I looked up how the rating is calculated and it seems that to be placed in a business category on Trustpilot the minimum requirements are your company needs to have received 25 or more reviews in the preceding 12 months and have the ‘asking for reviews’ status activated. It doesn’t say they have to be good reviews tho’! BitCon Trader has 30 reviews but they were ALL bad and the rest of the page is littered with comments containing yet another scam which I wasn’t aware of until I started investigating this one! More about that later, phew I need tea! Reporting scammers is thirsty work! Brb.
Right where were we? Oh yes BitCon Traders! In amongst the comments/reviews (which go back to early 2018) I found a couple about the site itself saying they were pressured into investing as soon as they had signed up, received constant phone calls demanding credit card details so they could start trading they even Whatsapped one person apparently when they stopped answering the phone! There are claims in the comments from one customer who says that Bitcon Traders is actually another company called xtraderfx.com and yet another customer sent this message:-
I’ve not looked into it any further, I’ve seen enough that they’d need to work very hard to convince me they’re not a scam. My advice execute a full body swerve and give these shysters as wide a berth as possible- you need your money more than they do! Moving on …….
Next up … Frank Calabro Jr – Oh boy, what a prize this guy is! (I wonder if there’s a Frank Calabro Snr and if he’s proud of his son’s carry on!)
I am a member of a PTC site called Hashing Ad Space (full review soon come) when you first login to it there’s usually an ad shown that you confirm you’ve seen before viewing ads on the site itself. I don’t usually pay much attention to the ads themselves but for some reason I noticed the name on this one and decided to look it up (y’know because I’m all vigilant and that now) – I typed Frank Calabro Jr into Google and the guy is just all over the page! The first two entries are his Facebook deets apparently he’s a US Marine and entrepreneur living in or from Greensboro, North Carolina. The next entry dated 14 March 2018 was on a website called behindmlm.com by someone who calls himself Oz (I think he’s a boy could be a girl, either way the site is worth a look IMO)
Oz investigates MLM (multi level marketing) programs to see if they are scams or legit. He provides links to his sources in his reports. I have found him legit but obvs do your own research, I found his site interesting and very informative. Oz investigated and blogged about FCJr’s involvement in some notorious Ponzi schemes, for which he was up on felony charges, in fact North Carolina Securities Division were after him for criminal provision as per the North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS), felony registration violations of the NCGS and securities fraud violations of the NCGS – ngl I don’t know what any of those are but they don’t sound good!
Oz’s report listed FCJr as one of the USI – Tech Ponzi scheme’s top investors, having been involved in My Advertising Pays Ponzi scheme (apparently that collapsed back in 2015), as well as two other known Ponzis – Zeek Rewards and Traffic Monsoon. He also has a website called Planet Millionaire, that he claims has 10,000 members, on which he was heavily promoting and selling a Btc package investment program from USI Tech. The guy has made and posted videos online stating he had brought over 19,000 people into USI Tech’s investment schemes and claiming to have made 1.3 million dollars in one month!
The last paragraph above had my eyebrows shoot so far up my head it’s what made me include him in this article.
All his fraudulent activity led to FCJr being investigated for among other things securities fraud by the North Carolina Securities Division. According to Oz’s report, a search warrant was issued on 8 March 2018 and authorities, in conjunction with a securities fraud cease and desist order issued on the same day, raided FCJr’s property (he wasn’t there) at quarter to ten in the morning and you want to see what they got!
Fifty thousand dollars in cash out of a car, a further twelve thousand, five hundred dollars in cash from various hiding places in the property, different sized bars of silver, bags of silver bullion (y’know like actual pirate swag!), other old coins, different sized gold bars – actual bars of gold (I mean who, outside of maybe her Maj or possibly a Rothschild does that!), a Samsung N950 phone, laptops, various memory cards and USB sticks, something called a ‘crystal ward’ which Oz found amusing (hope it’s not rude, sounds like a Dungeons and Dragons thing – feel free to burst my naivety bubble in the comments below!) SD cards, two physical ‘bitcoin’ gold coins and two Ledger Nano S hardware wallets.
That’s some haul, I was quite impressed but as it’s all been seized it’s not much good to him really is it now? Apparently seizing FCJr’s cryptocurrency wallets (the two Ledger Nano S’s) was of particular significance because back in 10/2017 FCJr posted this on Fb:-
If you’ve been reading my blog, you will be aware that as long as FCJr has his private keys (which were not mentioned in the list of items seized) HE and he alone still has access to his crypto. I’m not sure if it is possible to make a criminal hand over their private keys but you’d have to be a special type of fool not to factor that into your criminal activities.
You would think all this would worry FCJr or at least make him stop and think but no, clearly he will need to be stopped as he is never going to develop a conscience about what he’s doing, the day after the raid he had posted that everything was fine and he would be back soon, oh yes also apparently God is on his side – smh! Oz ended his March 2018 report saying that FCJr had yet to say anything to the public about the raid or the investigation.
Fast forward to November 2019 – you may remember I started by saying I’d seen FCJr’s name at the bottom of a PTC ad (if not, you might want to get that checked as it was literally 6 paragraphs ago!) Well I have news for Oz, if you’re reading this, Frank Edward Calabro Jr is alive and well, still peddling snake oil to anyone who will listen, check out the copyright date on these recent ads (there was one with a picture of a Lambo but I’m not sure where I’ve put that):-
Having read up about him now, please look out for his name on things, if it’s mentioned or associated with him in any way, it would be best to steer clear. Keep your money, he has had his share and quite a few other’s shares by the sound of it – Frank Calabro Jr is a ‘bad penny’ if he pops up near you step away!
Next up – Mind blower scams
In the middle of my research for BitCon Traders above, I said I’d uncovered another scam which I’d not heard of before but it resonated with me because I could quite easily had fallen for it from sheer noobidity. It doesn’t have a name that I’m aware of but I’m calling it mind blower because sometimes my head cannae take what people will do to others rather than go out and earn money legitimately for themselves.
Update – After further research before writing this next part, the mind blower scam is called Bitcoin Recovery Scam or similar.
Bitcoin Recovery Scam
When I was first starting out, I like many didn’t realise that when you lose your bitcoin you’ve lost your bitcoin you cannae get it back there is NO recovery process it is gone! All Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and immutable which means once the transaction has taken place it cannae be reversed (returned or credited back to you) or changed as it is recorded on the Bitcoin Blockchain which is a PUBLIC ledger of transactions (ie available to all) whose security rests on its inability to be tampered with except by holding 51% of the network mining power which is virtually impossible and negatingly expensive (1.4 Billion reported cost in 11/18)
Therefore ANY company that claims to be able to recover your bitcoin for you is by definition a SCAM
I remember reading somewhere that if the transaction was between two people that know each other or between a customer and a merchant in a physical shop for instance then you could probably get the person or merchant to refund you but the actual transaction still cannae be changed or reversed, you would need to complete a new transaction with the new information to get a ‘refund’.
My aforementioned $90 worth of btc I lost to Bitcon Black is irretrievable because they are scammers who are not about to hand me back my cash. I DID receive a refund from Coinpayments after a transaction of mine timed out (yep they can do that!) but I think that was more the exception than the rule – very much appreciated tho’ so thanks Coinpayments, keep up the good work!
When I was on Trustpilot going through BitCon Traders reviews, I noticed that a lot of people seemed to have written more than one review so I had a read through most of them and quite a few were just ads for Bitcoin Recovery Scams, thinly disguised as scam reviews, claiming to have gotten large sums of money refunded. I have included the full screenshots showing the person who posted because I think if you post something you should own it or don’t post it. I don’t imagine they are real people anyway, just fake id’s for more scammers – hmmm jaded much! The more I uncover, the more I smh!
I may have mentioned how new I am at this and I don’t seem to be able to write below the screenshots so I’m going to leave it at that, I’m sure you get the general idea – Bitcoin Recovery Scams = bad juju! I’ll be back when I find out how to write under my pictures, ttfn, thanks for sticking with me while I learn, hope I’m teaching someone something even if it’s just what not to do xx