I admit to being quite extraordinarily stupid. I hang my head in shame but need to share the reason – as a friendly warning to others that might be tempted to do as I did.
DON’T DO IT!
I thought I’d have a little flutter on Bitcoin a few months ago and ventured $1,000 for a share in one tiny fraction of a coin.
It was on the way up.
In order to invest this tiny amount I found a trading company called Ventera Group – their logo is below – at first very friendly and encouraging. And indeed, for a short period, seemed to be profitable – enough to lure me, stupidly, in.
It wasn’t long, as we all know, before Cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular have not only languished but, since the adverse withdrawal of Elon Musk’s support, nosedived in value.
The Trader I have been dealing with who communicates via WhatsApp and who calls himself John Edwards, a name I am now sure is fake, managed to persuade me to pump more and more money into my “account” – “to cover my margins” and “save the situation”, hanging in until the tides turn.
How stupid could I be? I expect no sympathy from anyone but would urge any out there tempted to venture into this wild arena, not to do so.
To cut a long story short and seeing that my “account” appeared still to be in credit and having appeared not to have made too much loss, I decided to withdraw what appeared to be left using the Company’s Withdrawal Request facility online, with no result whatsoever other than a message saying my request was cancelled because to withdraw I’d have to “close my position” and this would result in a recall which I could not cover with any amount and that there would be nothing left.
In effect – there IS nothing left and after a shouting match with this Trader who called me stupid (which of course I now realise I am) and that my silly amount of money meant nothing in the sum of things, slammed the phone down and any attempt to get any sort of proper explanation has been met by rudeness and prevarication.
It was mooted that more money pumped in would help; I said there was no more; they said then that would mean I would lose everything.
I have emailed the company an asked them for some sort of clarification and received this reply:
I have escalated this message to management for them to intervene.
|At your service, Benjamin Duck|
I have strong doubts as to the actual existence of Mr. Benjamin Duck and have had no response since,
Their initial promise that I could add or withdraw funds whenever I needed provided I gave them notice of seven days was a bald-faced lie.
I have subsequently discovered that this company is unregulated and that there is no recourse to any Ombudsman and no hope really of recovering a penny – it would seem. Unless I employed the services of a company that specialises in recovery but charges so much for these services that it’s just not worth employing – guaranteeing only 80% success anyway!
The other thing that came to light was that I thought we were trading Bitcoin but by yesterday it became clear we’d progressed through the newly Nasdaq-launched Coinbase IPO and now seem to be trading in Netflix and Amazon – though how one can lose money on those dead-certs I do not know. And what happened to Bitcoin en route is a mystery.
Upshot : don’t go near these people, Friends. They are scammers.
I await developments – it may be a long time.