Someone I know recently got scammed by an alleged crypto trading platform, after seeing a fake advert/article claiming Elon Musk had invested $12 million into this new trading platform.

They knew I was into crypto, so probably thought they’d be willing to yolo £50 into Bitcoin and see what happens, of course the sensible thing would have been to talk to me about it and use my referral links for actual crypto exchanges.

Anyway after clicking through the links registering an account and providing various contact information, including photos of passport, bank card and a bank statement. They were almost immediately phoned up by someone to walk them through the steps of investing their money. They only wanted to throw about £50 in, but were initially asked for £10,000, which they don’t have anywhere near close to having, being a pensioner with extremely limited income and almost no savings.

It wasn’t just done all on the phone though, because of course like most scammers they wanted to remotely connect to their PC. They used AnyDesk for this and gave them a demonstration of the “trading platform” and a presentation of what sort of gains they could expect. They were talked up to about £100, which they paid with their bank card.

Later that day, they were phoned up again to be shown the massive gains they had gotten - about 50%, despite Bitcoin and the wider crypto market only moving about 2% that day. Again their computer was remoted into as PhenoFX tried to get more money, while asking them to login to their online bank, fortunately they declined to do that. But were talked into investing another £2000, which is pretty much their entire savings, they paid with their bank card which fortunately got declined. Luckily they phoned the bank up, who told them they were likely being scammed so the card was cancelled.

It looks like only got registered in the middle of last year, all the who-is information is blank. But frankly it’s hosted on a server with some other dodgy looking websites. It also looks like for the last couple of months they’ve been working on building out fake reviews on various fake looking websites to build up some presence, but still only 1400 results on Google for PhenoFX at the moment. I’m guessing their marketing campaign started up this month.

Update 23rd March after some more investigation it looks like it could potentially be related to a Kado Captal or KadoCapital operating out of the domain so it wouldn’t surprise me if it the same group of people behind that. The FCA have a notice about them trading without authorisation in the UK.

Be vigilant out there - anyone can say anything on the internet, be mindful of friends and family out there who are too trusting. Never invest money into crypto that you’re not willing to completely lose. It’s also probably good advice to never buy anything from an advert online either - any advert can be fake.