Many South Africans have reportedly fallen victim to a massive Bitcoin scam which is currently being investigated by the Hawks.
The “investment company” under the spotlight is called BTC Global, which promised extremely large returns over short periods of time if you sent them your Bitcoin.
Over 27,000 people were scammed by BTC Global, including people from South African, the United States, and Australia.
According to the Hawks, over $50 million was lost in the BTC Global scam – with South Africans investing between R16,000 and R1.4 million.
Cryptocurrency scams are often quite convincing. BTC Global, however, was not one of these scams.
The BTC Global website has been replaced with a message from its admin team explaining that founding partner and master trader “Steven Twain” has vanished without a trace.
An archived version is available, though, thanks to the WayBack Machine.
A screenshot of the home page of the BTC Global website – before it was modified – is posted below. (Click to enlarge).
Reading through the home page text should set off warning bells for any reasonable investor, especially the “guaranteed 14% WEEKLY returns” and referral commissions.
The promise of extremely-high returns is common with big cryptocurrency scams, such as Bitconnect.
A bad website design also commonly accompanies cryptocurrency scams, and an investment website with only one image of the “master trader” – drinking a vanilla milkshake – and no other concrete information doesn’t scream “legitimate”.
Even if you were seduced by its ridiculous promises and “tiered referral programme”, doing a few minutes of research would have shown there is no substance to BTC Global.
The “master trader” Steven Twain, who the company relies on to fulfil its claims, is nonexistent and no record of his exploits or credentials appear online.
This is immediately suspicious, considering he supposedly has six years of experience trading in binary options and provides investors with weekly returns of up to 40%.
The Consumer Protection Act also describes any scheme that offers returns of 20% above the repo rate as a “multiplication scheme” – otherwise known as a Ponzi scheme.
At 14% per week, the “guaranteed returns” of BTC Global far exceed this.
Taking five minutes to Google search BTC Global, its promises, and its master trader would have alerted you to this.
If you are concerned about falling victim to a cryptocurrency scam, the articles below are good to read.
- The crazy and dangerous world of cryptocurrency
- Beware of these common cryptocurrency scams
- The biggest cryptocurrency scam in the world