But most of the time they’re just Ponzi schemes, easily discernible in that they make outrageous promises, are vague about how they actually make the profits they intend to return, and somehow always manage to have bad grammar.
We received a tip about BTC-Multiplier.com, a website that shares a name with a once legitimate, booming gambling site, BTCMultiplier. The irony is that they were the victims of a scammer who managed to game their system into allowing him to double-spend, similar to what the operators of 99.9% Dice claimed was happening to them on occasion. As the BitcoinTalk wisdom goes: scammers gonna scam.
The first red flag of a Ponzi site, this author himself having been victimized by one in the early days of his Bitcoin adventure, is that no one answers the phone when you call the number they provide (+1424-336-6772). You can leave a message, sure, but no one’s going to call you back. The author’s wife was prepared to ask a bunch of questions, pretending to be an innocent investor, and see what kind of responses they gave (as well as have a recording for the article), but there was no answer. That was in preparation for this article, but it could very well have influenced the tone of the article.
But that’s not all. In reviewing BTC-Multiplier’s “Latest Payments” page, one thing was reminiscent of that first scam the author fell victim to: they list almost every payout twice. The target here is clearly novice Bitcoiners and emotional investors.
Novice, because an experienced Bitcoiner will spot this right away, and not chalk it up to a simple mistake. Emotional, because a rational investor will be cool to it from the get-go, and won’t be so excited at the prospect of increasing his bitcoins up to fifty fold that he’ll overlook the mistake.
It seems the idea is that the excited investor might click one or two of the links. Having duplicate entries makes it appear that far more people have fallen for the scam than actually have. If a person wants to believe, they’re going to overlook the duplicate entries. But let’s have a look a look at one of these payout entries, shall we? Not to mention, there is always the possibility that the few if any of these transactions are actually owned by the website. For various reasons, they can claim to continually switch to new addresses, or what have you. The block chain does not make it incredibly easy to verify the identity of a holder or sender.
As you can see, this is one of the duplicate entries we spoke of earlier. Here is the transaction it is speaking of. First off, there is no 140+ BTC being transacted here at all. As it turns out, there’s only .8BTC being actually moved from one address to another, with the rest of the 71.24BTC being returned. The author is no block chain detective, but this raises a lot of questions in his mind. At the very least, it’s one transaction that did not happen the way they’re saying it did.
Then there is a deeper analysis of the address in question, 16qe34oUiaVXHgoEknya72jkr5ta2VSUin, which has received over 1396 BTC (roughly $346,000) since its creation in January. Could this be the backbone account of a serial scam operation? How profitable are these scams, on average? We don’t know at this juncture, but CCN will look into exposing more of these naughty thieves on a regular basis.
Images from Shutterstock and phm.link
Please write in to tip CCN about any bad actor in the cryptocurrency world. We take our position seriously, and will do our best to expose any scam before it has victimized too many unwitting netizens. Would you like to see a regular column of Bitcoin scams here at CCN? Share above and tell us below!