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Lark Arbitrage -Telegram ETH crypto scam

This shows the Lark Arbitrage Telegram group scam page
Telegram Lark Arbitrage

This is a scam that is running on the Telegram app, pretending to be operated by the Crypto Lark, a well known and respected crypto analyst and commentator. But it is Not being run by him. It’s a fraud.
The premise of the group is that they will find arbitrage opportunities across the crypto space, meaning you should be able to make relatively risk-free profits with your crypto currencies.


And you know what, even I fell for it!
I broke all my golden rules. Didn’t research thoroughly enough. Didn’t fully understand the investment parts. Didn’t step back and take a rational assessment of it all to see if anything didn’t look quite right. Didn’t ask another knowledgable person for advice. In other words, I got caught up in the eagerness to take advantage of a good (too good) opportunity.

Now arbitrage can be a very good way to make money. Has been done in money markets for a long time, taking advantage of different rates of exchange for the same instruments. It is more common now in gambling markets. It is not entirely without risk though. Prices can change before you complete the trades. A bookmaker or broker with your funds may suddenly go bust.
And yes, there can be scams too.

How does the Lark Arbitrage scam work?

This one built on the reputation of Lark Davis. A well known and respected analyst and commentator on all things crypto currency related. He has a huge following.
Apparently there are, and have been, many fraudulent accounts set up pretending to be him, always with the intent to defraud unsuspecting people of their crypto currencies.

The scam arbitrage involved Ethereum ( ETH) and a fake Chainlink (LINK) token.
It involved swapping/exchanging ETH for LINK at a very favourable rate, 80 LINK for one ETH. The you would be able to take your LINK to another exchange to exchange back in to ETH and get 1.25 ETH for every 80 LINK you have.

Unfortunately, after you had obtained the LINK and tried to send it to your Exchange/Broker or Trading platform it never turned up.
This is because it wasn’t the official LINK that all the Exchanges recognise.
Every Token has a Contract address so you can verify which token is which, as many can have near identical names.

This is one of the drawbacks of the state of the Decentralised cryptocurrency markets at the moment.
Being Decentralised is great in many ways, but it means there is virtually no real time oversight. Changes will happen gradually. There is no customer support when things go wrong.

How to avoid falling in to traps like the Lark Arbitrage scam

When you find yourself offered a very good opportunity , that sounds extremely good, and you are enticed to move forward, just take a step back. Look at the whole thing. Does anything look or sound not quite right?
Do you fully understand how all the steps and instruments work?
If you don’t, seek out someone who does.
Don’t take everything you read or are told as fact. Even honest people could unintentionally give you the incorrect information. Check the facts yourself. Verify.
Conduct internet searches for the Company, Product, Scheme or Person name + scam.
Try many variations on your search terms. Sometimes you will not get the answers you need first go.
And if you go ahead, try to invest the minimum to get started, as a trial run to see if everything works. ( This is not a sure fire check though, as clever scammers can lure you in to making big subsequent payments when they have your confidence).

Stay vigilant.
And remember, when investing:
Return Of your capital is more important than return On your capital.

And yes, I forgot all of my own advice!
So stay strong. Learn. Move forward.

Who to go to for help

If you have been scammed, had your identity compromised or have other, similar concerns or questions, there is an Australian and New Zealand based organisation that specialises in helping people with these issues, and for free, for their frontline services

ID CARE , at idcare.org

A short bit from their website about what they do:
IDCARE is Australia and New Zealand’s national identity & cyber support service. Our service is the only one of its type in the world. We have helped thousands of Australian and New Zealand individuals and organisations reduce the harm they experience from the compromise and misuse of their identity information by providing effective response and mitigation.’

We highly recommend at least signing up to their newsletter. It is very informative, easy to read, and they don’t try to sell you anything.

*we do not have any affiliation with ID Care. We just think they are a great service.

Celebrity endorsed Bitcoin scams

We’ve all seen them, those ads with Dick Smith, Andrew Forrest, Waleed Aly, etc mentioning something about making zillions of dollars in next to no time, solving your retirement issues, house issues, you name it.
Pretty obvious it’s a scam to most of us, but not enough.
Thousands of people in Australia have been scammed and lost even their life savings in certain cases.
(Golden Rule no.1: NEVER invest your life savings in ANYTHING , even the bank. )

The Guardian has run an investigation in to the scheme, (or one of the schemes as far as we know) to see what the story is and who might be behind it.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/dec/14/scam-bitcoin-ads-using-unauthorised-celebrity-images-fool-tens-of-thousands-of-australians

Premium Wealth

Premium Wealth, from Glasgow, UK, have an automated trading software they are trying to get people to use.
They will be getting affiliate revenue from brokers that they send you to.
It’s a common scam.
Tell you, or imply that you can easily earn squillions of dollars for no effort, just by using their automated, intelligent, artificial intelligence, trading software.
Make 2-4% per day (!!)
and no risk!
Well, minimises risk and maximises profits they say.

So the next step is to sign up with one of their recommended brokers (that they get commission from), download the software, for free, and start trading.
They will even arrange a 100% sign up bonus for you that will guarantee you against any losses if your account should somehow, unimaginably, suffer a loss.
(this is not how sign up bonuses work. They are only there to trade with, and can’t be withdrawn as cash until you have turned over the amount anywhere up to 100 times, or more.)

They say they have been in business for five years, yet their website, premiumwealth.co was only registered in October of this year, 2020.
They say they are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, but the number they gave me, SC523371 brings up nothing.
It does however bring up a result at http://www.checkcompany.co.uk/ for what is likely a different company, Premium Wealth Advisory in Glasgow, who have been running for five years, but they show a different address, so they are probably ghosting that company.
The call would have been at 2am UK time. We suspect they may be in the Philippines or somewhere else in SE Asia.

They also claim to be partnered with many prominent brokers. Probably just in the sense that they receive affiliate income, not that they ‘work with’ the brokers.
Also their ‘mentions’ in prominent financial papers are likely made up.

Steer clear and save your money.

Compare the Market pay your bills scam

There is a company claiming to be Compare The Market, the well known rate comparison site. This is NOT that site though.

What they are doing is offering to pay your utility bills for you and then you will pay them 70% of the bill, to give you a 30% discount.
Too good to be true right? it is.

First of all, the email address they give is:
[email protected]
so they are definitely not the same company.

They give their address as 2/80 Jephson St, Toowong in Brisbane, which is a serviced office space. Definitely too small for Compare the Market ( who don’t even give an address for their company).

They have called from a mobile number: 0480 048 123 , but there are sure to be more numbers they will use.

So the scheme is that you send them a utility bill, or photo of one, that needs paying, they say they will pay it, and then after you have checked with the payee that they have been paid, you will pay the scammers 70% of the bill.

How can they make money if they are paying 100% of the bill and only taking 70% from you??
They went in to some long spiel about vouchers from the businesses that they get commissions from on their website, for people signing up to offers, and somehow being able to cash those in paying the bills. It was all very weird and confusing and just sounds like a load of rubbish.

We’re not sure how they would get the payee to be showing that your bill has been paid.
Have they got some system to chargeback the payment after it’s paid, by claiming they are not the debtor, and just filled the incorrect account details, or something like that?
Don’t know, but the most likely scenario from this is that you would end up paying 170% of your bill. 70% to the scammers and 100% to the utility company later when they tell you that your bill has not been paid.

FB Trading

The following is from a comment by one reader on another page on this site, but it tells all about his experience with FB Trading.
They have been on our radar for some time but regrettably we haven’t done a write up.
They had been ringing around trying to sell their automated trading platform.
As always with these things, they have a high buy in value, no verified live trading account record. They only offer a brief trial period..days, rather than months.
Sounds like they mislead and also keep milking for more money by the following commentary:

Hi regarding FB Trading.
Anyone else had bad experience with the company?
I have spoken to the following employees, Mark (who also Known as Kal) Isaac, Tracey, Joanna, (Sean & Denis managers)
Nov / Dec 2018 I was another person who was took their trial offer of $1000 and the broker was Berndale capital. I have a claim with ASIC for my funds and when I spoke to Mark he said I should get my money back from ASIC but still waiting. I have a claim with ASIC who is investigating Berndale.
Then I to was mislead & roped into buying a auto bot system 15 pairs for $12100. Normally $28600. In Jan 2019 then 2 weeks Later they offered the other 64 pairs plus 5 Crypto currency For $10000.
Please keep in mind I was new to forex. They set up the system Vortex FX bot as they are the experts and followed there advise. They set up with not stop losses in place. They said (Mark) that’s how the system works the best this way and the market will correct it self.

I was told that I didn’t have enough funds to open all the pairs only 10 pairs were switch on. Hence I brought a product that I can only a small % of. Once it started trading, The system In most of the cases, will have up 5 of the same pair opened in the same position and if it went the direct of the trade in the positive way it would take profit of a small amount. However with no stop losses in place it would have a greater loss amount. I ask them to stop the trading and let the 50+ opened negative position to closes off. I had Isaac give me their Alpha program (normally $100k to buy) for free. Because it had stop losses in the system. I found out later the vortex system could have stop losses in place. He switch it on and lost more of my funds. I told him it doesn’t work. He opened a demo acc $50k to prove to me the Alpha system works. But the demo account is at $41k loss plus floating at -13000k equity around the $31k Earlier this year they told me they didn’t have a demo account To show me only the trial offer. I told Isaac to Stop trading again and now I’m waiting for 8 positions to trade out. They have been opened from early 2019.
I was sold a total system that I could not use all the pairs because of my Trading account Was to small. No one told me until after the fact. Once they got there funds. Mark guaranteed me over the phone I would pay off the system in 12 months. It was an average return b/w 7-10%. Per month & A min of 1-3% per month. Listening to the video and looking at their (I believe Now a fake) trading history Data (which has no Swaps or spreads showing looking back at it now once learning and educating myself, should show the swaps and spreads.

Please share any thing regarding your experience with Fb trading Pty Ltd / FB markets Pty Ltd or Fibonacci Trading Pty Ltd.

Update, May 2020: FBM Expert
It appears they may be trading with the name: FBM Expert , still under FB Markets Pty Ltd.