At the bottom of every CCN page, you will notice we disclaim all advertisements in terms of actual endorsement. We would prefer a situation where staff could make a living without the use of advertising, or in which scam artists didn’t see Bitcoiners, especially new ones, as easy marks. It is in our rational self-interest to give businesses the benefit of the doubt, but we maintain a policy of removing ads immediately upon report of bad practices.
Flexbit has received that treatment after CCN received a report that they were not honoring their contracts. Nonetheless, you visit their website, you will see a link to CCN, but that link is now dead. The article in question was not a news item, but rather a sponsored story, which is a long-form advertising approach.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the ways in which this situation could have been avoided while still allowing for the ad to have been posted here. That is to say, the purpose of this article is to hopefully help our readers spot a scam.
If you visit Flexibit.bz and look at their “business model” page, you get a lot of words but no actual information. The entire page is almost like a disparate financial philosophy page. It goes from:
We believe that being an active investor means doing something different from the market and adding value through the investment process.
We focus on absolute risk and on delivering a positive return over the long term.
Which is all well and good, but it’s banal and, alas, has nothing to do with a business model. A business model is the method by which a business earns money. For an “investment” firm, you’d expect a list of industries they focus on, markets they believe need special attention, and so forth. Instead we get a lot of hyperbole. The point? Vagueness is always your first red flag. The words on this page are merely a big mask to cover their actual business model: that of Charles Ponzi.
Our source took some photos of the scam in action:
Like most Ponzi scheme victims, he had apparently been receiving payouts previously, but now for several days was not receiving anything. This is when the scam begins to implode, every time, because there are now too many people needing payment and not enough new blood coming in.
The next red flag about Flexibit is, of course, its offerings. As an investor, you have no reason to expect hourly payouts. That’s not rational. You’re putting funds into someone else’s hands, you have to expect it will take them some time to earn a return. Weekly returns, maybe. Monthly and quarterly are more like what you see in real investments.
Then, of course, there is the whole issue of “guaranteed returns” as well as “forever profitable.” On their business model page they say they’re aware that they can’t always return profits, but here they’re saying that the returns are guaranteed.
When trying to make more Bitcoin with your existing Bitcoin, there are more ways to go wrong than to go right. The important lesson from Flexibit is that the scammers are getting more clever, building nicer and nicer websites to ply their trade. They also had significant funds to start with, being that they were able to contract with CCN and other websites for advertising. This indicates they are probably serial scammers, and perhaps it is time CCN expose the actual people behind these predatory schemes. In fact, if you have any information as to the whereabouts or true identities of the people behind Flexibit or any other scam, please forward that information to CCN post-haste.
Featured image from Shutterstock.