The Ventera Group logo.


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.


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: 

Good day,

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.

12 Replies to “DON’T DO IT, FRIENDS”

  1. Mon amis Peter – Joy and I haven’t had such a good laugh for years. We don’t mean that unkindly of course. Your setback is my setback as they say. My boy, my boy. It could happen to any of us, and has in other guises which I can tell you about privately one day. But our whole week has been enlivened by your genius telling of the saga. Not since you sat on the edge of your bunk on that ill-fated cruise around South America bemoaning your choice of cruise ship have I enjoyed a column of yours more. As a scribe you are a force of nature.
    Never mind – drinks on us next time!

  2. So sad that in today’s world we cannot trust.
    Society seems to have lost a Moral Imperative and for those of us who have trusted in our belief in the good in people there are people behaving in this way. It can be hard to hold onto the good in individuals when there are organisations that behave in this way.
    At the same time I look out onto the Green, the beauty of nature and want to believe despite the betrayals there is still goodness in the World.

    1. There is goodness in the world at 11 The Green. Very brave of Pedro to tell us if his travails as a warning to others. I heartily congratulate him on this.
      And of course a lot more goodness from the his neighbours on The Green a place dear to my heart xx

  3. These days you don’t even have to do anything to get scammed Rushka!!
    My debit card was cloned and the fuckers (also crypto currency) tried to take £10500.00 from my account. Fortunately my credit balance was not that high and the withdrawal was refused on the grounds of insufficient funds!! But they could have got away with it!
    I’m so sorry this happened to you!!

  4. So sorry Peter. These scumbags are becoming prolific. Go well, and thinking of you. With love, Eileen

    1. Peter, I am furious on your behalf. In spite of the fact that Alistair’s niece and his best friend’s son (both under the age of 50) have made a great deal of money in dealing in Bitcoin, I wasn’t tempted at all. I was brought up in a family where my father and brother were addicted gamblers and drinkers. As I result, I have no gambling instinct whatsoever and at the age of eighty, no spirits have ever passed my lips.

  5. Dear Peter,
    Heartfelt condolences…I also toiled with the decision to invest in bitcoin, but fortunately my caution overcame my enthusiasm…so I refrained. But I still entertain the notion that i can make a killing on the stock market…despite being an ignoramus in such matters.
    much love

  6. My dear Cut Sleevie,
    I have read/watched this whole Bitcon and cryptocurrency saga evolve, and have had to force myself to sit on my hands and not participate. It seemed to me that the smart (non crypto) money was on those who understood this whole new financial world and were making fortunes. Understandably I was very tempted to join in….but didn’t have any where-withal to invest, otherwise I would almost certainly have done so and had my fingers burned like you. I didn’t/don’t understand how it is supposed to work, so what the hell was I thinking?
    This whole scheme seems to be a blatant con, but is able to be promoted openly without the law stepping in to prevent it.
    For a bird with a small brain the only way with finance is to get the actual coin in my hot sticky fingers and be able to bite down on it.
    As a canny Aberdonian, my other (better)half just shakes his head at my naivity!
    Kudos to you for exposing the dark underbelly of these schemes

    Grandjolina XXX

    PS Kudos would be a good name for a new cryptocurrency – could we invent one??

  7. Dear Pete and Tony
    So sorry to hear this -and from you whose financial abilities are so honed. I do hope something gets sorted out, although the auguries are not not good, I suppose.

    Sorry for the cancellation this evening – I am not best pleased!

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