Bitmain Warns “Order Futures Miner” Scam
11 Feb 2018, Bitmain released an alert on possible scams using the name of S9 miner, the Company’s most popular product.
As the country with the most complete supply chain of electronic products, China hosts four bitcoin mining machine suppliers: Bitmain, Cannan Creative(Avalon), Ebang (Ebit) and Shenma. Also there are some less known GPU-based suppliers like Panda miners. The skyrocketing price of bitcoin in Q4 2017 also made it hard to obtain the machines that generate them. S9 was available in the market in 2016. During the “miner mania” in December 2017, some people were even willing to pay 35,000 CNY for S9 futures. Public sales of miners were often sold out almost instantly. The surging demand lures brokers and scammers.
Below are some usual tricks:
1. Scammer claims to be the insider or relatives to executives of Bitmain then ask the victim to deposit funds to the designated personal bank account, promising delivery of miners or futures. Then scammer vanish.
2. Scammer claims capable of placing orders with software or manual operation, asking victims to deposit funds to company’s bank account. The funds might be used for ordering miners, which are sold later at market price. But scammers later told victims the ordering failed and return the funds later. Victims may suffer a loss from funds frozen.
In China, police will not formally register theft case for item valued below 2,000 CNY. Currently no miners are below 2,000 CNY, which means almost any scamming case could be filed in police station. However, most victims chose to hunt down the scammer by exposing chatlog, ID etc instead of reporting to police.
“I order 3 units of A3. That guy just delivered 2 units and return the money of another. Please reposted the info if you are my friend.”
Screenshot above could often be spotted in the miner community and Chinese was not alone.
According to Sinchew news on 10 February, victim “Michelle Lee” in Malaysia claimed a loss of 289,800 ringgit from paying 60% deposit for 14 units of bitcoin miners. She had personally visited the scammer’s office and signed proper contract. After she wired the money, she failed to get response from the seller. Later she found that office was emptied. It’s estimated around 29 victims lost around 100 mln ringgit in one month.
It’s suggested that prior to trading with miner brokers, one should
1. Condut due diligence investigation on the company background via public info source.
2. Exchange KYC info if you are dealing with individuals.
3. Verify the information through third party.
According to the public statement, Bitmain said there were no pre-order of miners available. Any such claims are deemed fishy.