Verdict : Scam and NOT Paying
Summary: This is one of the most easy investigations that I have ever conducted. The admin of this site contacted me himself, begging me to be part of his brand new scam. Needless to say I didn’t agree. After some fruitless attempts of getting him to abandon his scam, I decided to do the usual and starve the new members instead.
Fortune trades follows the trend of the HYIP scams floating around the Internet recent years. Like with the others, the idea is that you choose one of their investment schemes, deposit money and sit back waiting for them to Forex trade in your behalf. After predetermined time, your profile will be returned. In reality it’s really just a copycat page and most of the information on this site, including the payouts to members are stolen from an other HYIP websites.
The Company: The company, Fortune Trades Ltd, claims to be legally registered in UK, but both the company number and the picture they display on their website are fake, they also seem to have removed the picture, most likely because I reported it. Fake is also the address, in the center of London business district, they first stated to be registered at. By the way, no surprice to me, the address where they claimed to have an office is the same one where Forex Paradise has their virtual offices. Now they have changed their registered location to Brighton, maybe thinking it’s not so easy to check out…except that widget that appears on their website supposedly showing their company location on google maps, does not use verified location and if you search for them on google maps, you get no results. There is no mention of any names, no CEO or board members on their website, which is not really surprising. However in the emails which I received from them in very poor English, came from their CEO Richard sam. Pay attention to non capitalization of his own first/last name 😉 Score 0/0 (it’s been a while since I scored a company so low)
The website: Fortune Trades (www.fortunetrades.com) is clearly a copy of Forex Paradise, to the extend of me thinking it might be the same owner or at least admin behind both scams. Yes, the front is different, it is actually attempting to look more serious and unfortunately it might appeal to some of the people looking for serious online investment. The early version of the website didn’t even have an SSL certificate, now they claim to have one on the protected members area, but instead of allowing you to signup, after entering your details it states that the team will be in touch. So far I have had no contact with them, even though I submitted my faked details 3 weeks ago. My own account no longer works, I wonder why? The site has FAQ and terms and conditions, but those are needed for Google indexing, so I guess this is the reason they bothered.
whois shows that this website is registered with godaddy.com 6th of August 2016, so indeed a brand new site. Their registration is protected by Domains by Proxy from Arizona US and surprise surprise, godaddy also hosts them in Arizona, US. I also reported godaddy about their illegal activities. Safe browsing previously reported good, but right now shows no status, which in itself also indicates the site is no longer being operated. Score 2/5
The Program: The sites claims to be an investment company, but no longer displays it’s claims of being a Forex trader on their front page. The have two plans, daily 3.75% for 48 days or 2% daily for lifetime. Even by HYIP standards, these are rather ridiculous claims.
So you select one of these two schemes, make a desposit and are on your way down to sure profit.The company then uses this money to speculate on your behalf on the Forex market, in so called High Yield Interest Scheme. Except just like with other HYIP schemes, you never get to see any of their trades, not before or after they are made.
Clearly the owners were planning a typical Sponzi scam, where the new members are paying for the selected members profits while the owners are pulling out as much money as possible while the scam lasts. Oh, did I mention that they offered to make me admin and give me 20% of the profits? Here is one of the emails I received from their CEO:
Do not say it’s a scam Madam. I would like to make you one of the admin of the company and pay y 20% commission for your every active participants as wells as every 60 days will reward you more. You can contact me anytime. Thank you, here you can check the website www.fortunetrades.com
Richard Sam CEO
And no, I didn’t take them up on their offer, but reported instead to the UK authorities with good results 😀 Score 0/5
The Compensation Plan: This aspect is very straight forward and hence easy to understand. You supposedly get 5% of your direct referrals deposits, 3% or 2nd line and 1% of 3rd line.
There are no more incentives information available on the website. This means no rankings of extra rewards promised for anything. No promos either and no promises of conference on some tropical island, Las Vegas or Hong Kong. So the affiliate earnings are rather thin on this scheme, unless of course if they make you one of the admins 😉 Of course it is not really needed as you are suppose to get rich by investing on the platform. Score 0/0
The Payouts: The list of most recent withdrawals is a direct copy from Forex Paradise website with patch numbers and everything. They only accept and payout in Bitcoins, what a surprise, looks like someone likes anonymity, although I have to admit I can’t blame them.
Their payment processors are Perfect Money (PM), Payeer and direct wallet-to-wallet Bitcoin payments with Bitpay. The accounts of PM and Payeer showed as private and not as company accounts registered to Fortune Trades Ltd. These payment processors are very fast to setup as they do not require KYC (Know Your Customer) for private people and therefore a favorite of frauders. No identity check, no money trace, right? Score 0/0
The Support: Is pretty much non existing. No chat on their website and no reply ever to the emails. There is no address, but only a possibility to contact them via the form on their website.
Only replies I have had from them are from the Gmail address firstname.lastname@example.org. Gmail? I mean seriously, which website doesn’t have their own email server? Every good scammer knows nowadays how to setup an email server and most hosting companies provide you with webmail to start with. They don’t have a company phone number either. Update, the company has provided a phone number on their website, but I have been unable to reach anyone at this number!Score 0/0
The Marketing: The company had no marketing material available except from affiliate links, not even banners, which of course are a key to affiliate program marketing. Since I lost access to my account 2 weeks ago, I am not aware of the current situation. There are links on their website to social media account on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but none of the accounts actually exist. The website also doesn’t mention presentations, webinars or company calls.
Update, the social media accounts now exist, but has not been updated for the last 2 weeks. Score 0/0
The Grapevine: Everyone stays quiet and as far as I know I am pretty much the only person who even bothered to review them. I did some gentle prodding and only 20 people in these circles, all known HYIP monitor admins got a similar email. None took the bite as the fraud was so blatantly obvious. There is nobody who claims to have received money from them and also no proofs or payments of video testimonies. I guess they never had money to pay for them. Score 0/0
My Honest Thoughts: 2 has to be the lowest rating I have EVER given to a scam during my professional reviewer career and that really says a lot! These guys didn’t get very far as they made the fatal mistake of contacting me. Their website is very sloppy, confusing and full of spelling mistakes, although their have done conscious effort of cleaning things up.
Although I pinpoint the exact location of these fraudsters due to lack of recent activity on their website, I can state with 100% certainty that they are non English speakers.
I take it as a personal victory that this website seems to have no activity what so ever. One of at the time I plan to make the Internet a safer place to anyone wanting to make an investment. Score 0/20
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