Crypto Signals Scam – Diggin’ Deep on Cryptoinformator.com
How did you come into contact with SmartOptions the first time? Likely a Google search regarding Crypto Signals. We put many efforts into our posts and much time into auditing and evaluating groups, hence the search engines seem to like us. However, our post inspired many scammers to push their services with similar posts, if they cannot get listed with us. We rejected one of the biggest groups once, and they built a crypto blog on their own, copied the design of our post and wrote a thousand praising words about their service – and they are not alone with that. Many other groups did the same to fool the people who are watching out for reliable service. But what we discovered recently tops these desperate tries by far! If you google for “best crypto signals” or similar keywords in the last weeks you might have seen already, what we are talking about here. What we found tho once we dug deeper, is a professional scam. Read on…
Cryptoinformator.com is a website that seems legit – efforts have been put into its creation, one can see that. I was interested when I saw it, and as I am pretty much everywhere when it comes to signal groups (especially on Telegram) I was a bit puzzled when I recognized that I didn't know the majority of the listed groups on the site. I scratched my head, do I such a bad job just knowing two of these groups (of the “worst”) and none of the 4 top groups? 350% in the bear markets with Altcoin signals alone – I should've heard about them! I am always researching to bring you new, good groups so I started to reach out to these groups over their websites.
Wanna watch instead of reading?
I was impressed by the search engine optimization of the Cryptoinformator first. They came out of nowhere and ranked pretty fast for many relevant keywords. So I started to check their listed providers – I opened all of them in several tabs and noticed that all of them had neat, beautiful websites with great themes, which have been modified to their needs in a very professional way.
Being in this business for some time, I noticed one thing: Traders share similarities with coders most often. If you worked somewhere in IT, you know you can have whether a good coder OR a good designer, it is almost impossible to find both skills in the same person. Traders are no different – whether they are good at trading OR in good in marketing (selling shitty signals to the masses) – this seems to be a universal law. However, these sites are made pretty well, so I got a bit cautious. My skepticism increased once I noticed that all of these sites share similar navigation, pricing, and website structure:
And the pricing?
OK, OK – we don't want to judge too early – maybe just one group copied the other? Let's dive a bit deeper and check the servers. So many signal groups; they must be from all over the world, right?
I loaded the domain list into one of my favorite tools (Netpeak if you are interested) and kazing– the scam theme became a bit more obvious: Cryptoinformator.com, 2themoon.us, luxurycrypto.club prooofit.pw have all been registered in one batch, excavosignals.com just a day before. Another thing to note is that these domains share the same Server IPs or at least similar IP blocks – and these IPs are all shared hosts by the hosting provider Namecheap. You can buy cheap webspace / VPS packages there, which come with a different IP, though often from a similar IP block. Looking at the servers, there are many scam projects on these IPs, but those are not necessarily connected to them, as these kinds of hosting packages are often oversold to many individuals so it would not prove anything.
What I actually found even more interesting is to check how Cryptoinformator.com gained their rankings. Let's review their backlink profile:
Boom, some guys simply don't like to play it slow and steady, but just took out the blaster and hammered as many links as possible to the site. This works, but most likely only short-term. It is a well-known technique called “churn & burn”. You spam your domain across the web to push the rankings fast, then you grab as much as cash as possible as long as the rankings persist. One day the Google penalty will hit, and they take their content, modify it and relaunch under the next domain. The server IPs showed a few more unused crypto-related domains, which might be by them; letting them age so they can start the spam earlier once they use them. This, in combination with the offered Lifetime Subscriptions, let the words “exit scam” pop up in my mind – though this is just a loose assumption. Another interesting sidenote is that, once you use the contact form on CryptoAlarm.net, you get the success message in polish, which gives a hint that they use the polish version of WordPress for their back office.
Checking their backlinks we can find some polish Tradingview profiles leading to the site, which could mean they have at least someone who trades and uses Tradingview.
But let off the assumptions, here are some more facts:
- all of these sites, don't offer any kind of trial or free channel
- high investment needed for a black box service, where you cannot evaluate upfront what you get in the end
- none of these groups provide a public track record and can prove any of their statements on the websites
Many, many signals groups tried to get into our posts and contacted us, made offers up to three Bitcoins, but we always kept it real with our quality guidelines which we developed over time. If we approach a group we find interesting, they are usually happy to provide us with everything needed. So I reached out to all of the signals groups listed by Cryptoinformator.com, and we did get just a single reply.
Well, I never offered a paid review or anything else, my exact email to them has been:
How does my request, which states it is all depending on the outcome, relate to their reply? Someone smelled a rat and acted diplomatically. But how on earth did they get their review on CryptoInformator? I doubt Cryptoinformator.com pays monthly fees, to monitor their results and present them out of altruistic goodness.
So, I went to the live chat of one the sites and asked for a public track record of their incredible success, this was the reply I got:
Ok, security is important, I get that. I do not get why it would be harmed by giving out a report, but hey maybe I am just not smart enough. So let's check the statistics on the website:
Hm. At least no fluff at all. Looking good! Where can I send monies? When Lambo? But, please – let me check a free channel first, so I know at least that something does exist.
Bummer. Then I will move to someone else from the list by Cryptoinformator.com – let's check the others, maybe there is a group which rings a bell for me. Oh, yeah – there are two of them:
PalmBeachSignals.pro – we had Palm Beach Signals listed once a year ago (before the honest part of the team – which was our contact – got kicked out by the other admin who turned the channel into another big crypto scam). Still sorry for having them listed in our beginning – we cannot foresee such happenings, unfortunately, but deleted the review as soon as we had been informed.)
Excavosignals.com – wait, Excavo? The Top Tradingview Trader? Maybe we found a legit and real channel here? Hmm. Oh yeah, I see the excavator, which is used by him as an avatar, must be real, right?
So which is real, the left one or the right one? I assume the left one, which is nowhere to be found on the Cryptoinformator.com Website. Oh and by the way – do you recall the date of registration for most of the sites above? It surely is an asset of their “signal website arsenal”.
And Palm Beach Signals? As far as I know, they don't even ever have a website – CryptoInformator just uses their name as they have been pretty popular.
Now, you might ask yourself why they do list providers and call them the “worst” when the sites are made up of their own. It is easy: To increase your confidence in the rating of the other four sites which are the “best”. They might test which of the sites converts best and interchange it by time.
That's it. Case closed. Another scam in crypto, another rice bag in China has fallen over. We wanted to present you a small exercise on how you can do your research and educate yourself to not fall for any of these scams. Shiny websites, seemingly independent rankings, insane profit numbers, which cannot be verified – this can convince quite a few newbies.
Stay Smart, stay with SmartOptions – where true numbers have yet a meaning.
UPDATE: ARE YOU A DETECTIVE OR A MADMAN, STEVE?
After exposing the scammer they tried to blackmail us (with that great subject line above), decide yourself if you want to trust people who send out emails like this:
Oh, yeah we are always cooperating when we are threatened, hence we took the post down immediately! We have been scared so badly. Then the next email came in:
So, as you see it is very important to keep people warned about this scam – feel free to share it on your websites, Steemit, Medium wherever you want to share it. We won't blackmail or sue you for that 😉