Bitcoin to U.S. Dollar direct exchange BTCpromo.net has recently come under fire regarding their shady business practices. The term “scam” is a common theme. It seems the “Sell Bitcoins for Dollars in PayPal” technique that they’re currently using is giving sellers the short end of the stick.
BTCpromo is registered to Queensland, Austrailia. However, the owner of BTCpromo signs all of the messages with “btc Προμο.” I’m not suggesting that’s a red flag, as the world is turning into one great melting pot. A red flag however would be that searching for the Queensland address brings up Scambusters. Suddenly the signature doesn’t look completely innocent.
On May 17, 2014, user “undertheinfluence” posted on bitcointalk.org about a recent experience with btcpromo, “I have sent them 0.5 BTC two days ago, which got processed, but with great delay. I sent another 2.49 BTC 24 hours ago, nothing yet. No response to multiple support emails. No reply to Facebook messages. Not answering the phone.”
They provided the transaction ID, with a warning to stay away from BTCpromo.
BTCpromo is supposed to pay through PayPal, a horrid business venture, to say the least, unless Ed Donahoe puts enough pressure on PayPal to integrate Bitcoin support. If there’s any chargeback at all, Bitcoin transactions will be held 100% at fault by PayPal. These problems have been seen on the reverse side by WeSellDoges.com, a popular Dogecoin site that allows user to buy Dogecoin with PayPal at a markup. Unfortunately, they received far too many chargebacks and had to close business with unverified users.
That step’s never even reached though. BTCpromo just never seems to pay. They accept the Bitcoin, wait for it to be processed, and then wait for complaints. They’ll then tell the user to send more Bitcoin to reach a “payment threshold” as experienced by “undertheinfluence.”
So what route do you take to complain? Well, your options are email or phone call. BTCpromo may be a Greek company or an Australian company, so when “undertheinfluence” called they asked to speak to someone in English:
-Hi, do you speak English?
-One moment please /transferring/
-Hello /other woman/
-Hi, do you speak English?
-Are you operating the btcpromo.net website?
“Undertheinfluence” called again, and was told they were a real estate company with no knowledge of Bitcoin or BTCpromo.
On May 29, 2014, another user made a post about their troubles with BTCpromo. They stated they were emailed by BTCpromo who denied allegations that they wronged them, and had 2 BTC to refund them. So the user set up a wallet and agreed to delete all slander against BTCpromo if they received their coin. They posted the blockchain address accompanied by this statement, “If 2 BTC are there, please dismiss all of my posts defaming btcpromo.net (if I have not already done so yet). If the wallet is still empty, well, they are still a scam.”
As of right now, seven days after the post, there is still 2 BTC missing from the wallet.
On June 5, 2014, yet another user claimed to have been scammed 5 BTC by BTCpromo, and provided all email correspondence between themselves and support. The English is a bit broken, but it seems as though they have been a victim in this transaction.
“Bitcoin is not money to be played with,” a user on reddit said during yet another scam claim, “You need to have good security habits. If you’re even the least bit unsure, do more research. The Bitcoin community is notoriously untrusting for a very good reason.”
When contacted to make a statement, BTCpromo did not respond.