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Bitcoin + online chain referral = illegal scheme

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Ever get a chain letter in the mail or online? Then you know the drill — you send money to a person at the top of the list, then take their name off and add yours to the bottom before sending the letter to more people. If the letters keep going, you’re supposed to make money as your name moves up the list. In fact, most people are guaranteed to lose money.

Chain letters have been around for decades. Today’s twist: online chain referral schemes involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Litecoin.

Today the FTC announced a complaint against four people — Thomas Dluca, Louis Gatto, Eric Pinkston, and Scott Chandler — for promoting deceptive cryptocurrency schemes online. The schemes were promoted through websites, YouTube videos, blogs, and recorded conference calls telling people they could earn big bucks in a short time and achieve financial freedom.

Two of these schemes — Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network — required people to use bitcoin or Litecoin to pay for the right to recruit others into the schemes and get paid recruitment rewards in cryptocurrency. There was no product or service to sell. People were told to pay in and recruit other people into the program. Supposedly, the more cryptocurrency people paid in, the more they would make. The FTC alleges that these programs were illegal chain referral schemes.

The third program — Jetcoin — claimed that people could invest bitcoin in the program and see it double within a short period of time, supposedly because there were cryptocurrency traders working behind the scenes. Jetcoin shut down after only a few weeks and participants lost their bitcoin investments.

Don’t be fooled by bitcoin buzz. Whether you’re asked to pay in dollars or cryptocurrency, promises of free money, mysterious financial models, and outsized returns most likely are scams. Learn more about what to watch out for with business and investment opportunities.

And if you see something like this, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Tagged with: invest, scam

Comments

I got caught up in a scam using Bitcoin.... And thrown out of my bank!!!! They sent me a fake check I still have the bank documents for when they tried to electronically deposit it. I reported it to the police department here in town it was September 20,2917 nothing was done. I turned them in to Bitcoin all 8 ip addresses. Never got any of my money back. I did not set up Bitcoin someone else did.

I sent up an account in December and promised funds after 3 to 4 months. The website and emails have been strange. Now, I want to pull funds out or close the account and they say it requires me sending them money to close account. I asked why they would not take the amount from the total prior to sending it to me and they said it was policy. Originally, they did not get me to sign documents bUT to wire money to set up the account. When I go to website it says they are having difficulty. The website is peakmanagers. org and it was setup up by others.

You can report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint and to the FBI's internet crime complaint center at ic3.gov.

I filled out the forms for ic3.gov What are the next Steps? Thanks

Thank you

Thanks again. Scams seem to prey on the greedy side, which, sadly, we all share to some degree. My opinion.

Hello well its funny cause It's stupid .and crazy

I only recently signed up with FTC but already have found the information you provide extremely valuable. Thank you for protecting us consumers!

Be leary of any crypto investment company ending in .biz
These guys promise high daily % returns, and will close within a week or two before even people who invested on day one would be able to withdraw enough to cover their initial investment amount. Then reopen under a different .biz domain and do it all over again.

You can help law enforcement by reporting problems to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement database.

glad I have no real $$$$

I filled out a complaint a couple of weeks ago because my investment funds went into the account within hrs but when I asked to withdrawal or close the account, they asked for more money to withdraw prior to sending funds. Also, the website seems to be shady.

I feel so sorry that some good innocent people are assaulted off their money that I feel forced to make a comment here: In order to save and keep your privacy, when going to do business on the internet, always consult with a family, friend or person who knows and been on using this thing, the internet, for long. Make sure you, the person interested in making "easy money", easy money is the word or way of thinking of getting something out of the reader, visitor or user in the internet. This internet criminals, know the psychology of the people who visit the internet, who are careless internet users and want "easy money" due to the manner those user think. Those criminals use that internet easy money psychology to cheat. Please, don't be, the internet "easy money", NAIVE.

I really hope you do not work for the FTC with the comments provided above. If so, it reassures me...I guess it is always the victims fault no matter the situation!

I'm so glad I get the FTC reports. I don't think I would ever fall prey to one of these scams, however I always pass info on to my friends and family. Thank you

Thanks for the warning only on such chains letters or mails I will never answer.

Thanks for this info. You are doing a great job alerting us .But is the Government listening and doing something

Yes. Me too. But, i Love this

Consumer allert how can avoid to be avictim us a consumer.

I am receiving calls that show my picture as if I’’m the one making the call. Then the recording says “AT&T ,,, your account has been flagged. At the beep please enter the last 4 digits if the primary account holder’s social security number.” Then it beeps and I hang up the phone. Has anyone
Has anyone had this type call? We had never had one until we recently changed to AT&T.

There try to get money from me sending viruses from Facebook and Message your In my phonebook

Is there a way to try to get back money if someone scammed you? thanks

I know of a Litecoin scam in Danbury Ct and would like to report it but want to keep this private is this possible? There are persons on facebook pushing it I could give you names, they tried to get me to join but I'm very sure its a Pyramid Scheme what do I do?

You can report a scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. You can choose how much personal information to provide. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

You can report a scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. You can choose how much personal information to provide. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

Is Forex Trading legal. Several older persons are investing life savings.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a bulletin about FOREX trading. "FOREX" stands for Foreign Currency Exchange. The SEC bulletin says Forex trading can be very risky and is not appropriate for all investors.

I submitted 383 pages of documents to local police, fbi and state attornies to no avail. None of them have contacted me. I was scammed 23k from bitcoin & property investment from fake companies(hello housing/midpen, peakmanagers/peakmanagement). The link is 4 wire transfers to bank accounts with Wells Fargo, SunTrust and Chase. The individual has a texas area code and has threatened my family, job and marriage. Associates have tried to send me 9975 thru PayPal. Any idea how to get anyone to investigate. I have contacted each place numerous times. Should I hire private investigator and show up at their place of employment.

You can report a scam to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The FTC does not investigate individual cases. You can contact your state Attorney General and local FBI office again, and the Attorney General in the state where the business operates. You might want to talk with the fraud department at the banks that you used for wire transfers.

how to get off mailing list fome creadit card companeys

I have contacted the Attorney general form each state to no avail. I have called and submitted tips to the Fbi on numerous occasions and they were more interested in protecting the criminals more than my family. Local police does not have manpower to connect the dots. The Secret service has been the most helpful but unless it is 350k plus it is difficult to investigate. The securities group will not handle it because they are fake companies. The banks that collect the wire transfers are harboring criminals and will not reply unless you notify the BBB and then they don't investigate the bank accounts. Most bitcoin are warehouses overseas but there are groups in the states that are hiding behind facebook. There are security checks that banks should be following and investigating that lead to criminal and money laundering schemes. Facebook should be held accountable and I can't even get their email address or get Bbb to investigate them. I have lost 23k this year due to criminals committing fraud and cannot get anyone to investigate. Can you imagine if I did not pay the IRS 23k, they would surely come after me. Also, I can't even get my own bank that I had for over 30 years to send a recall request on my behalf. The problem with the fbi and other organizations is they think short term or don't care. If I have someone try to put 9,975 into my PayPal account and me send them bitcoin exchange that should be a red flag. Also, if they are willing to go to 300k plus on later transactions that is the best time to catch them. Like I said before, majority are 5 hrs away but some are here in the states. The fake companies on the west coast had me send them personal documents on the case thru a fake lawyer on their behalf. I shutdown down their website once and rattle them and will continue but wish i had someone in my corner. My next approach is to write a book which i am on chapter 2 and it will be non- fiction. Also, let the legit bitcoin companies know of the fake companies and maybe they will handle them.

cryptofx claims to be a binary options platform and can provide you a return of 95% or more depending on how much you invest. I was contact thru social media in which i was already trading stocks. I quickly learned that they are pushy and have you transfer to their website. They never change the amount you invest but the column next to it they put in fake numbers to show your profit. When you try to withdraw your money they tell you its a brokerage fee of 10%. You have to pay the fee first before you can get your profit. Once i paid the fee they then said there is a 1,500 its fee i would have to pay before i could receive my profit. I did not pay the 1,500 its fee but i am working with my bank to get the payment reversed back into my account. PLEASE DONT FALL FOR THE GREED TRAP OF GET RICH QUICK SCHEME. herry forss was who contacted me.

I was scam by this nice girl I pay 1,000 to start to trade, 300 membership, 100 don't remember, 2,000 of her commission, 500 to bank transfer, 2,000 to withdraw and final and now she wants 500 more to bank transfer, I constantly repeat her I want my money but she insists her 500 more i told her how many times I will be paying for withdraw? I have a debt almost in 7,000 just believing in her so nice and kind, I want my money back

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