GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Better Business Bureau of West Michigan says that a locally-connected website that promised guaranteed returns on Bitcoins has proven difficult to remove.
Blockonomitrade.com allegedly promised Bitcoin investors a guaranteed return every week, sometimes as high as 50%, according to the BBB. The site promised better returns for those who invested more. The BBB received a complaint of a man who invested, but was not allowed to cash out.
The BBB says the website used the logo of Blockonomi, which is a legitimate company in the United Kingdom that produces news articles about cryptocurrency. They say the companies do not appear to be related. The Blockonomitrade.com website claimed to be based in Alaska, Michigan, but the address was not complete and the contact phone number was a New York area code. It also had an Oklahoma City address that was actually a regional office of the U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration services. The BBB says that they are unsure where the site was located.
Blockonomitrade.com originally said that the customer could collect his investments from a bank in Florida, but that also ended up being false. The BBB says they contacted the web hosting company with their evidence and the website was taken down, but reappeared just a few hours later.
“The fact the website reappeared so quickly is an example of just how hard it is to combat these deceptive websites” says Phil Catlett, the President and CEO of the BBB of West Michigan.
The Better Business Bureau has the following advice for investors considering buying cryptocurrency:
- Do your homework. Read about the technology underlying the Bitcoin system. You need to know how it works if you want to manage and invest effectively. Make sure your sources are legitimate, and not just those trying to sell you something.
- Know who you are investing with. Make sure the company or website has a proven track record. Beware of offers and rates of return that sound too good to be true.
- Understand the risk. Bitcoin prices fluctuate drastically almost daily, plus exchanges get hacked or close shop unexpectedly potentially leaving you with nothing.
- Know where to store your bitcoins. It’s best not to store bitcoins in an exchange. Exchanges are sometimes vulnerable to hackers, whereas online wallets are considered a more secure place to store your currency.
- Be cautious with your investment. As with all investments, never invest money you can’t afford to lose.
- Report it to BBB. Submit scams and fraudulent activity to BBB’s Scam Tracker™ so we can research further and keep consumers apprised of developments in the marketplace.