Sean – Feb 12, 2021

Victim Location 23666

Total money lost $3,500

Type of a scam CryptoCurrency

This company operates under the name Basic Forex Trading. However a dissolute d.b.a UK business certificate is posted on the under the name of Forex and Crypto Protrading LTD. They claim to be trading Forex for those new to the industry. I was introduced to the opportunity by being added to a group on Telegram. The name was a cut-off sentence…Diversification is relevant. and once…. In this group there are postings of compelling testimonies by supposedly members that received payments as large as $1,615,000. There are admins posting the enrollment process and that there are no hidden fees. There are also lots of members congratulating each other for the successful receipt of the payments from their investments. The posting are very believable.

The process is to create an account by selecting a user name, enter your email address and create a password then entering your bitcoin wallet address to receive payments. Then the investor will login and select deposit from the menu at the top of the website. Next select an investment level, Starter is the entry level for investments up to $1,000/$1,500 that is suppose to profit 10%. The Pro plan is for investments from $1,000 to $5,000 and the profit is 15%. The final plan is called Business. There is a minimum investment of of $5,000 and profits 25%. The selection is made by pressing the "Invest Now" button under the corresponding plan. The next page will provide the investor with the exact amount of bitcoin payments to send to the bitcoin address 1E4Uq9nJahaTDXQxiKa4HG5YmxzjWCd4ec and a scanable q-code is provided.

Normally within a few minutes of confirming the payment the investor will see a credit balance on their account with in the website. The balance with reflect the investment amount plus the interest due depending on the plan selected. The hook is that they will actually initially hold true to returning to the investor the total amount promised. I invested $500 and was sent back $556 within 13 hours. That included a referral bonus for my husband that also invested $100. The deal is the referring person receives 6% of whatever is invested. My husband and I continued to invested and receive the investment amount plus 10% profit within 15 hours. For a few days. There was a time when a payment of $1,150 was sent to me and but took 2 days to be confirmed by the blockchain. On another investment, the deposit was sent to me 4 beyond the 15 hour window. There is a chat feature on the Basic Forex Website that claims someone is available 24/7, but sometimes someone would respond sometimes a message appears that all reps are unavailable. I was able to get a response from them during my abnormal times of return. The responses each time were very encouraging that all was well and in time both issues were resolved.

After receiving 3 or 4 payments I received an email stating the UK government had frozen the my account due to taxes due in the amount of $800 and the payment due to me could not be released until the taxes are paid. I and other clients that I know all live in the USA and are not residences of the UK. I had invested $3000.00 ($2,000.00 of my own money & $1,000 earned by the Basic Forex Trading process. My husband had invested $1,400, including $900 out-of-pocket. He did not receive an email demanding taxes to be paid. Instead his payment was held without no explanation for 3 days. He sent messages on the website and via email without responses until late on the 3rd day when he was informed the payment could not be sent until he paid taxes of $600. I has also invited my son to invest with Basic Forex Trading. He invested $550 but his experience was a bit different. He did not receive payments every 15 hours from his investment. Instead every 15 hours the balance on his Basic Forex Trading website continued to grow with the appropriate profit for 2 days. He enrolled with the Starter plan and never up graded to the Pro plan. After 2 days his account showed a balance due to him of $1,197. He, like me was sent an email that he would not be sent his investment or profit until the UK taxes of $800 was paid. The message also says that a Pro investor must pay these taxes prior to the release of their first payment on the Pro plan.

at this point I went to the Telegram page and asked if any one else had experienced the demand to pay taxes for release of the investment and profit. A girl using the name of Nowanmi Mahmoud responded with yes she did. She claimed to have paid the taxes and received her full investment with profit after doing so. Also a guy using the name Ishara Manugas replied and strongly encouraged me to pay the taxes and all would be fine. Both of these individuals have profile pictures posted in Telegram. I continued to have a private conversation with Ishara on Telegram. He told me he had paid the taxes and promised it was a one-time fee that would release payments due to me and my son.

Next I looked up taxes in the UK and found that incomes below $17,000 are not taxable. The investments we all forwarded to Basic Forex Trade is less than $5000 combined together. I sent the evidence that I found to the admins in an email message and demanded our monies due be sent immediately. At that point responses to my email stopped and my husband and I were both removed from the Telegram chat group. I contacted Ishara to let him know what I found in regards to the taxes. He advised me to change my IP address and my bitcoin wallet address in order to reinvest at the Starter level so I could recoup some of the money I was scammed out of.

I believe those posting in Telegram are very much a part of the scam. I also believe they plan to create a new website and continue to scam people all across the world out of money. Almost all the people in Telegram group were from natives out of the USA. The Basic Forex Website is still up and running. I ran a search on the bitcoin payment address and can see there is over $3,000 in the account. It has received over $184,000 since March 2020, but no activity has occurred since I sent the email proving the scam on February 6, 2021.

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