Yesterday, I brought to your attention a recent scam that seems to have reared its head again. If you missed yesterday’s Money Morning, then go here and read it before you continue with today’s piece.
It’s crucial you read that first part.
But for a refresher, here’s what this scam looks like…
Source: Screenshot from editor’s email
[Click to open new window]
This scam is using what appears to be a legit report to sell a bitcoin system where you ‘can’t lose’ and you can make huge profits…daily! Well no, you can’t. It’s likely a Ponzi scheme.
I’ve seen scams like this before. And just a month ago I wrote about it here in Money Morning explaining:
‘…I was recently sent a link by a family member promoting this thing called “Bitcoin Aussie System”. She wanted to know if it was real or not.
‘Well I broke it to her gently that the chances were this “system” was some kind of convoluted scam to sell some kind of software that likely didn’t work.’
These scams seem to be becoming more regular concerning bitcoin trading systems.
But back to this ABC ‘Special Report’…
The truth is, the email is fake. There is no ABC report on Andrew Forrest investing in bitcoin.
Cheekily, it doesn’t specifically state bitcoin in the email. But clearly the link out is designed to draw in the uninitiated and vulnerable. That way it applies to anyone that’s looking to investments to make big gains.
We know the email is fake because it doesn’t take a super sleuth to find an official statement from Fortescue Metals about it.
In April this year, Fortescue made an official statement about the linking of Forrest with bitcoin.
You can read their announcement here.
The key points to note, according to the company, are:
- ‘Mr Forrest does not publish information about investments he or his family make, except as required by law
- ‘You should not rely on statements you read about the Forrest family’s investments as being recommendations or endorsements for you to invest
- ‘Mr Forrest has not endorsed or invested in bitcoin’
Hence, the email received, and any linking of Forrest to bitcoin trading or systems, is utter nonsense and an outright scam.
Be safe, be smart, be cautious
But there’s loads of red flags found here that apply to other scams of similar nature. What you need to do is get comfortable with how these things look and how to spot them. Often, you’ll see things like this that are tweaked and tailored for different regions, different companies, wealthy people, news outlets…
I’ve seen similar things with the BBC banner across the headline. Or ones that purport that wealthy famous people like Elon Musk or George Soros have used these systems. You need to treat all these things with a huge degree of scepticism.
In this instance the fact the whole page links to the Bitcoin Future trading scam is one red flag. The ABC, BBC, CNBC — all the ‘C’s — would never link out to something like this.
On top of that, none of the image links work, again, this indicates this is one image rather than a properly constructed news site article.
Also, check the email address from the sender. Here it’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, a quick search doesn’t come up with a company olanias.de anywhere. Furthermore, the contact in Outlook had absolutely no information in it whatsoever.
And even the link on the image was a weird, jumbled nonsense web link. If it looks dodgy, there’s a good chance it is when it comes to links.
That’s why it’s vital you check links in emails. We don’t ever suggest clicking on them unless you know how to manage your own security. But you can search for them on Google and get a good idea of what’s legit and what’s not.
But one of the best ways to verify these fake reports is to open a new browser window or tab and go to the original site, in this instance the ABC News site and search for the report.
If I go to the ABC News website and search ‘Andrew Forrest Latest Investment’, nothing comes up. There are news reports on Andrew Forrest and investing, but nothing like this.
Similarly, if I do a Google search for ‘Andrew Forrest The Project Bitcoin’ and pages of information about this being a scam pop up. Realistically, you should be doing this kind of preliminary research on everything to do with crypto — and that includes us!
The reputable, ethical, professional services, platforms and advisories, can easily be found.
You can find information about the company, about the people, about the services, there are contact details and other avenues for contact including social media where questions and queries will be answered.
The really good ones even have a business that sits under the watchful eye of corporate regulators — and you can then even check with the regulator those companies have official licences.
If you can’t get any of that then its red flag city, folks.
Also, anything that promises that you can get a huge daily return on bitcoin for doing nothing is also a scam. There are some crypto where this is possible, via staking crypto that employ variations on proof-of-stake consensus. Bitcoin doesn’t do that, it’s proof-of-work and you have to mine it or buy it or trade for it to get it.
But if you’re still worried or unsure about something — there’s always us. If you’re worried about something, you’re not sure about it, then reach out to us and we’ll tell you. We’ve been around long enough to know what an outright scam is or not.
You can email us with concerns or questions about potential scams or reach out to us on social media. To help keep your crypto experience that little bit safer, we’re always available to help where we can.
The point is, this stuff isn’t isolated to crypto — scams are everywhere in the world. As the ACCC noted, scams will hit Aussies to the tune of almost half a billion dollars in 2019.
That’s just unacceptable. And it means that we’re not doing enough to help educate people on how to spot and avoid scams.
In traditional markets, in crypto, in property, stocks, money markets, currency, everywhere, you must be on your toes. You need to be vigilant; you need to be sceptical about everything and you need a bit of experience and assistance which is where we come in, as well.
Be safe, be smart, be cautious and be open with us to help us help you navigate the crypto and investment worlds.
Editor, Money Morning
PS: Libra a bigger threat to banking than bitcoin. Click here to download your free report.