Unfortunately, there are groups of people active online who are out for your money. They will try to trick you with ads or investment programs in which guaranteed profits or high returns are promised.
In this article, we’ll explain how to recognize such a scam and what you can do about it.
How does the scam work?
The scammers often create ads that lead to a professional looking website, where you can sign up for a ‘Investment Program’. They sometimes use celebrity names and faces to attract your attention. By signing up for the program, you share your personal details, like your name, email address, and/or phone number. That is how the scammers are able to contact you personally.
In most cases, the scam goes as follows:
- You sign up after clicking on an ad.
- You will receive a phone call from the scammer, who you’ve never met before.
- The scammer will start to call you more often, over a period of weeks or even months. Often, a personal relationship is formed.
- You are convinced to invest more money in the platform.
- In some cases, the scammer advises you to download ‘TeamViewer’ or ‘AnyDesk’. These programs enable the scammer to view your screen, and even worse, to take control over your computer.
- The scammer will promise you sky-high profits, but at the same time isn’t really clear about how you can collect these profits.
- The value of your investment seems to be increasing, but when you want to collect (a part of) your investments the truth comes out.
- You contact the platform to collect your profits, but you are told you will need to pay taxes first. You need to pay those taxes in bitcoin.
The scammers earn from all the investments that you have made as well as the bitcoin you’ve transferred to pay for those made up taxes.
In most cases the call centers of these scammers are located abroad. Often you will get a phone call from a British or Swiss phone number, and the caller usually has a typically British name like Adam Smith, for example.
There have been some occasions in which the scammer advises you to purchase bitcoins at BTC Direct, because they are cooperating with us. Please know that this is untrue. We will NEVER work with scammers and will do everything in our power to prevent our customers from getting scammed.
What to do if you’re a victim
If this story sounds (slightly) familiar, you’re probably a victim of a scam. We recommend you to take the following measures:
Break off all contact with the scammer. Don’t answer their phone calls, and don’t send any (more) money or bitcoin.
- If you’ve already sent money or bitcoin, we advise you to report this to the police.
- If you’ve created an account with us, please inform us.
- Did you pay the scammer with a credit card? Contact your credit card company.
If you have any questions, please contact us.