Recommend Uphold for holding cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin fraud - this is how the rip-off works!
The deposit is small, the promise is great: fully automated trading that leads to a fortune in a very short time. Bitcoin, the largest of all crypto currencies, is particularly often misused for fraud. We have registered with over 40 suspicious platforms (e.g. "Bitcoin Code") from German-speaking countries to find out what is behind it. Here are the results of our research.
List of Bitcoin Scam PlatformsThe following trading platforms are active in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and are dubious scams. We advise against registering with one of these supposed brokers. If you have registered with one of these providers, do NOT deposit any money!
If you have registered with one of these providers, do NOT deposit any money!
Serious alternative (recommendation):
You should pay particular attention to these signs of fraud:
- It is advertised in a noticeably aggressive manner with profits or promises a certain return.
- There is no regulation by an authority recognized in the EU such as CySec, FMA, BaFin.
- No phone number available.
- There are hardly any sub-pages where you can learn more about the company.
- Offshore seat (islands)
Serious looks different: Bitcoin fraud on a grand scale
"Get rich quick" programs and apps are advertised. The stakes are small, the profits are large. At least that's how it reads.
The truth is, it is a bitcoin scam. And we're not talking about the cryptocurrency itself. This is of course legitimate.
In addition to reputable trading platforms, there are also a lot of black sheep in the scene. The most popular products are Bitcoin robots and auto trading systems, which promise to be able to trade crypto pairs independently. You can put your feet up and wait. The reality is of course different: there are no profits and the money is gone.
As it turned out in the course of our research, there is primarily one network that currently dominates Bitcoin fraud.
The hub website "Securelyriches" alone achieved over 440,000 hits in January 2020:
However, this is not yet comparable to the figures from December 27, 2017, when the cases reached a peak.
Bitcoin fraud: Two strategies are predominant in the DACH region
Since we signed up with over 40 of these Bitcoin platforms, we noticed that there are basically two strategies.
- The users stay on the website on which they have registered and trade with prepared software (web trader).
- The original website looks exactly like that of the first genre, but only serves as a "rioter". After registration you will be redirected to a Forex or CFD broker. As documented in our blacklist, these are often the same provider.
Strategy 1: Bitcoin Fraud Using Rigged Trading Software
If you look at the first strategy, the case is clear: classic fraud is being carried out with Bitcoin.
Probably the best known name in the Bitcoin fraud environment is a website called "Bitcoin Code". This is a platform that appeared a few years ago and also achieved dubious fame in this country. However, the actual monetary success is at least doubtful, at least for some of the platforms we examined.
The reason for this is the simple impossibility of making a deposit. Even if we wanted to! There is a prominent "Deposit" button that allows us to pay by credit card. However, no matter how many times we click on it, nothing happens!
"This is a software whose origin we could not determine exactly. However, since it is used by various providers (Dubai Lifestyle App, Ethereum Code, ...), it can be assumed that it is a white label Solution from the depths of the dark web.
Strategy 2: Bridge side to Bitcoin brokers with dubious seriousness
The second strategy works on a different principle.
Here the potential victim ends up on the same landing page as in strategy 1, but leaves it after entering the data (name, email address and telephone number) and is instead forwarded to a CFD & currency broker.
In this case, the bridge side only has the task of making the visitors "keen" on Bitcoin trading.
If you land on the target page, the thing is immediately apparent to the trained eye: In the end, it is also manipulated software, with the difference that everything is a tad more professional and is hardly recognizable as fraud for the layman.
One could argue that the target providers have nothing to do with the promises made on the upstream external side. Rather, it could simply be an affiliate strategy to generate leads.
At first glance, this may well be the case, but there must also be a connection to the broker, as our data has been transferred and an account has been set up.
Partnerships with financial sites make the Bitcoin rip-off perfect
People have become cautious these days. If in doubt, Google is often consulted and looking for relevant experience reports.
Bitcoin fraudsters know that too. That is why partnerships with news sites from the crypto sector have been made, which extol the respective scam and advertise absurd profit promises such as "87% promised profit rate":
The respective experience reports are structured in such a way that they first address a possible fraud and also address the marketing methods ("Cave of Lions", fake newspaper articles, etc.), but represent this as a pure advertising strategy.
In conclusion, it is usually recommended to use the respective platform. Allegedly no signs of fraud could be found. On the contrary, they are even enthusiastic about the possibilities of the Bitcoin platform.
The bitcoin robot that always wins and our conversation with the "support"
With most platforms, we didn't have to transfer any money for the time being. For the time being, you can calmly watch the Bitcoin robot at work.
It is impossible to make a loss in demo mode. This is what it looks like in the backend of "Bitcoin Code":
A similar picture emerges with "Centobot". As soon as you click on "Start", the controls move wildly back and forth, which almost looks like a caricature.
After about 40 seconds the result: $ 1,375 profit made! Strangely, the Bitcoin robot always gets the same profit with every run. A real professional on the market, this trading robot!
However, our conversation with support is almost even better.
An employee named "Richard" answers and asks us if we need help.
Here is the (translated) chat history:
Bitcoin scam on behalf of the Lions Den
The VOX show "Den of the Lions" has made a name for itself in connection with Bitcoin. However, not voluntarily, but through targeted placement of advertisements from a Bitcoin fraud network.
This is how it works in detail:
- The users get to see ads in social networks such as Facebook, which suggest that there was a deal at the Lions' Den, which on the one hand made the lions but also the founders rich.
- The show uses familiar faces to instill trust. The article itself is optically based on the style of a well-known daily newspaper such as BILD, Spiegel or Kronen Zeitung.
- The entire article is a pitch on an "automated Bitcoin trading software", which supposedly also enables private users to achieve high profits.
The whole thing is quite nippy. One is led to believe that a cave of the Löwen show is not allowed to be broadcast because a secret system has been revealed in it, which has already made many people rich.
To make the article a little more believable, it is pointed out that you can also lose money:
"Of course not every trade is successful. It is not a magic platform. However, 92% of my trades were positive. After three days I had already made a profit of € 7,300.00"Quote of the fake article
Anyone who is familiar with investments and finances knows that a 92% success rate is an absolutely unrealistic value. Of course, the Bitcoin fraudsters also know this, but hope that laypeople will fall for it
BILD, ZDF, Spiegel & Co. have nothing to do with Bitcoin fraud
Daily newspapers and other large media enjoy great trust in the population. Bitcoin fraudsters take advantage of this by copying names, logos and layout almost 1: 1 to create the impression that it is a serious article by a journalist. A perfect example of "fake news".
It is interesting that the articles that are intended to induce the use of the Bitcoin software are mostly written in good German and without noticeable spelling errors. This does not yet indicate that someone from the German-speaking area must be involved, but at least the services of a native speaker have been used.
Unauthorized use of celebrity names like Frank Thelen & Co. should create trust
One thing has to be left to the fraudsters: they know exactly what is going on. The following celebrities appear more often in connection with Bitcoin:
- Frank Thelen
- Günther Jauch
- Dieter Bohlen
- Dietrich Mateschitz
- Boris Becker
- Bill Gates
- Richard Branson
- Elon Musk
- Lena Meyer-Landrut
- Yvonne Catterfeld
None of these celebrities are involved in these scams.
The advertisements are often not about Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency at first.
The lead stories are mostly emotional topics.
For example, it is suggested that Dieter Bohlen has died. The "news" article itself does not deal with this topic at all.
The point is that as many people as possible, out of shock or curiosity, click on the ad, which is then supposed to generate as many "customers" as possible for the manipulated trading software.
In the welcome video on the homepage, celebrities express themselves positively about Bitcoin. These sequences come from interviews, which are cut together and presented in a very shortened form.
"Only € 250, - deposit" - The tricks of the Bitcoin scammers
Usually it is advertised that an amount of only € 250 is enough to start trading Bitcoin. The sum is of course wisely chosen: low enough to take the risk. High enough not to make it seem entirely unrealistic.
- After the deposit, the supposed trading bot simulates the hand with Bitcoin. The software does the work for you. The user himself does not have to buy and sell himself.
- Small winnings encourage the customer to deposit even more money. According to the motto: "If it has already worked with so little stake, what happens if I double, triple, quadruple the deposit amount?" many get into it.
- If you want to have your supposed profit paid out now, the Bitcoin fraudsters point out that there is a minimum amount and can only be paid out as soon as the amount X is in the trading account. Of course, this is just a trick to help you transfer more money. The truth is that there is never a withdrawal.
There is a large network behind Bitcoin Code & Co.
We took a closer look at some of the platforms. It is noticeable. All platforms use thissame layout and even the same texts.
Both are only slightly adjusted, so that at least only at first glance it looks like different trading platforms or Bitcoin CFD brokers.
The websites themselves use various obfuscation techniques, which make tracking much more difficult.
You know these testimonials from where ...
A video is usually played on the website, which is intended to provide an insight into trading, but also reports on the allegedly positive experiences of investors.
If you deal a little with online scams, you will notice that some of the people presented are either very busy in the financial world, or, and that is the more plausible explanation: it is not a shame to hold up their faces for various scams.
We continued our research. The lady from the video is actually an actress who can be hired for a few euros for "Fiverr":
What can I do if I am caught up in a bitcoin scam?
If you have come across a fraudulent Bitcoin broker and in the worst case even lost money, we recommend the following procedure:
- No more deposits should be made. Every euro that goes from your bank account to the fraudsters is initially a lost euro.
- Contact a consumer protection center or the police directly. Most of the scam platforms and pyramid schemes in this area are already known. The more people are affected and report it, the higher the chances of a persecution being successful.
- Trade only on reputable platforms, which are listed here.
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Report Bitcoin Fraud Here
At this point, you can report websites that are clearly fraudulent in the field of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. These will then be added to our list. You can also discuss the topic with other users.
Please note that we will not forward your report to law enforcement authorities. However, your report helps to warn other users about fraud.
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