- Recently, we discovered an article trying to sell an investment scam stealing the layout of NST and Vulcan Post.
- This article was making use of the fact that Malaysians don’t usually check the URLs to the articles they’re reading.
- If a cryptocurrency “investment opportunity” offers guaranteed returns, it’s probably too good to be true, i.e. a scam.
- If you see any of these scam websites, do report them to MCMC.
For every good thing that happens, there will always be someone ready to turn it into some sort of a Ponzi scheme.
When it comes to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, many Malaysians were initially drawn to it thanks to the many self-made millionaires who made their fortunes of investing in it.
But since price drops, a slew of hacks, and thefts on exchanges, fans in Malaysia face another big nemesis—scams masquerading as cryptocurrency exchanges.
And their tactics appear to be getting sneakier.
We were driven to write this article thanks to a recent discovery: this article that’s been advertised on Facebook pretending to be a News Straits Times article (thank you to a vigilant reader who pointed this out).
We were fooled for a while too, until we noticed the URL, and what is honestly a really shoddy writing job on the article itself.
It pretends to be about a famous lecturer, while really trying to convince Malaysians to “invest” in cryptocurrency through this totally legitimate website. After all, this famous lecturer did it and is going on so many vacations for it.
Since Google and Facebook have banned advertisements using the word Bitcoin, this seems to be the scammers’ workaround into getting more victims into their Ponzi downline.
And just to be very sure, we dug around on the internet to learn that quite a few Snopes-like articles have gone out to expose Bitcoin Code as a scam.
We discovered that the Bitcoin Code has also misused images from Ashley Greig, who has nothing to do with Bitcoin Code.
And later, we discovered that these scammers used the same (badly written) article onto a copy of our website too.
That’s already two publications, so we’re sure there are versions going around on the internet bearing other popular publications’ masks too. Or at least, there are going to be.
What can I do about it?
Whether you’re a concerned netizen who doesn’t want anyone to fall for these scams, or if you’re another Ashley Greig whose image was wrongfully used to peddle a Bitcoin scam you don’t believe in, one actual step you can take to stop these from spreading is to report these pages to Google.
1. Report it to Google
If you see similar websites, make a report to Google here.
2. Report to MCMC
For complaints related to online content, such as the contents of the above offending article, users can head over to this website by The Communications And Multimedia Content forum Of Malaysia.
There, fill in the fields and make your complaint.
You can choose to call them or walk-in with your complaints if you prefer, with the guidelines listed here.
3. Report it on Facebook
Whether it appears as an advertisement, a post or a video, you can report fradulent content to Facebook as well by clicking on the “…” button on the top right of most posts.
Also, if any cryptocurrency peddler can guarantee investment returns, then it’s probably a scam.
Who can forget the tantalising stories of self-made millionaires who invested into Bitcoin before they became big?
But here’s the cold hard truth—not even cryptocurrency experts can guarantee you any returns from your investments.
Even if these scammers claim to have “cracked the code” behind how cryptocurrency trading works, these tactics cannot possibly translate to US$550 every hour.
That’s just how cryptocurrency is. The technology behind it, blockchain, is still nascent (new) technology, meaning that no one can predict where and how it will be used.
And Bitcoin was designed to be unregulated. While that means that the currency is not subject to the rises and falls of the normal economy, it does also mean that Bitcoin’s price fluctuations lead to a very bad indicator for a guaranteed investment.
It’s often said that you should only invest in cryptocurrency if you’re prepared to lose whatever you’re investing in.
So how are these scams able to guarantee not only returns, but “returns within 24 hours”?
Answer: They can’t. They’re just using the allure of huge returns to hook you into their Ponzi schemes.
So if an “investment opportunity” or any other cryptocurrency broker can guarantee you a percentage of returns, it’s probably not real.
Other telltale signs include: DEMANDING THAT YOU JOIN IMMEDIATELY, because the quicker you invest money into them, the easier it is for you to miss the telltale signs of a scam, or to get a second opinion.
And though many legitimate businesses do this as well, if you see any of the above signs, plus an insistence that you PM or join a WhatsApp group for “more information”, then you should proceed with caution.
Remember: Cryptocurrency isn’t like trading in stocks. So while I’m sure there are legitimate startups or individuals who want to help you invest in cryptocurrency, do a lot of research before that. In fact, many people handle it themselves.
This way, you put your own monetary future into your own hands, and you’re less likely to fall for “investment opportunities” like Bitcoin Code.
- If you’re curious about where to buy legitimate cryptocurrencies in Malaysia, check out this article.