The whistle has been blown on the latest Bitcoin trading scam.
An investigation undertaken by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Report (OCCR) and their media partner, The Guardian, has revealed that a legion of 200 “traders”, based in the Ukraine, have not only been scamming Australians out of their savings, but victims worldwide.
An estimated $100 million has been taken from innocent people who thought they were dealing with a legitimate bitcoin trading company.
The company behind the scam is known as the Milton Group. One of their employees working inside their boiler room blew the whistle on them to a Swedish daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, who then went on to share the information with the OCCR.
There were at least 20 Australian customers registered on their books as people who had invested into the bitcoin trading scam.
Usual Scam Behaviour
Victims were contacted over the phone and were asked to make a small investment in cryptocurrencies of only a few hundred dollars. They were then told, without seeing any proof, that the value of their investment was soaring through the roof, providing very lucrative results.
However, when it comes time for the victims to withdraw their profits, they were met with obstacle after obstacle, which would be overcome by paying more and more money.
Victims were also told that they could not withdraw any of their profits until their account hit $10,000 US.
Once the victims started to get skeptical it was at this point that their Milton Group representative would coincidentally leave their position within the company.
How Not To Pick A Scam
There are many scams out there, and it is knowing what to look for which is going to help you not fall victim.
Firstly, do your due diligence. Look into the company’s history, where they are based, and if they have a clear and long history of business behind them.
Also check that they are following their local laws and regulations and are governed under the correct governing bodies, for example in Australia, this should include ASIC and the ATO.
If you do invest with a company, make sure you are able to make withdrawals immediately, and at your own discretion. If you are required to invest more money to withdraw, or you need a certain amount of dollars in your account then this is a serious red flag.
If a company has a trial of their product, this is also a great way to test the investment service before investing. This will allow you the gage their system and procedures and you can be 100 percent sure that you are not dealing with a scam company.