The organization Trust Investing, which defines itself as “a company specialized in the management of crypto assets”, was recently included as a potential fraud with cryptocurrencies in a list shared by NGO Bitcoin Chile. Here is a review of what you know so far about this ponzi scheme, which began its recruitment operations in May of last year and has become popular in Cuba.
Information published by Trust Investing web pages contradict each other
In its English version, Trust Investing states that its main physical address is in Panama City, capital of Panama, and that is associated with a bank called BDL Bank and an organization called Trust Diamond Investment Security.
According to its website, the Trust Investing team is led by Diego Chaves (CEO), Claudio Barbosa (Director of Technology) and Fabiano Lima (Director of Marketing); in addition, it supposedly has a regional director named Patrick Abrahão and a network of leaders distributed among Spain, Cuba, Brazil, England, Italy, Mexico and the United States.
It highlights that Trust Investing also has a website in Portuguese, in which Chaves, Barbosa and Lima appear as leaders, and Patrick Abrahão along with another supposed regional director, named Bispo Ivonelio Abrahão; Likewise, the aforementioned partner companies also appear and the same number and contact email that is on their website in English. However, in this other website have an address in Estonia as their headquarters: “Harju, Tallinn, District of Mustamäe, Laki tn 30-23, 12915 Estonia”.
Statement of Spanish and Panamanian authorities
On June 11, the Superintendency of the Securities Market (SMV) of the Republic of Panama issued a warning acerca de Trust Investing, making it clear that, even though it claims to have physical residence in Panama, it is not registered and much less is licensed to offer investment services on Panamanian land:
“That society TRUST INVESTING., the Public Registry is not registered, it is not and has not been the holder of a license or registration issued by the SMV, so they do not have authorization to carry out activities related to the stock market, including, securities brokerage businesses, investment advice, intermediation in FOREX, investment manager in or from the Republic of Panama, within the regulatory framework established by the Securities Market Law ”.
The ruling of the SMV of Panama came ten days after the National Securities Market Commission of Spain issued a warning to the public, noting that Trust Investing was not authorized to provide investment services in said country.
Trust Investing is a ponzi scheme, according to Tulip Research
Fraudulent activity analysis firm Tulip Research shared in June a research about Trust Investing, from which they concluded:
“[Trust Investing] a fraudulent company operating as a ponzi scheme, does not have a real product and pays its investors with their incoming money ”.
Tulip Research reviewed Trust Investing’s business plan and explained that this organization offers supposed investment services that are “outside of any rational financial scenario”, with the promise of 200% returns in a matter of 10 months, with an exaggerated daily profitability of up to 5%; Furthermore, from Tulip Research they explained that the Trust Investing business model would theoretically correspond to an exorbitant profitability of 370.37%, much higher than the irrational amount of 200%.
Notably Trust Investing operates with the initial investment of the participants and accepts investments only with bitcoin (BTC), through plans ranging from $ 15 to $ 100,000, and a referral link is required to register on the platform. This initial investment “is not recovered as such, but it is from the periodic profit where the investor recovers his capital,” explained Tulip Research.
More exposed irregularities
From this Tulip Research investigation, it stands out that the supposed bank associated with Trust Investing does not exist. The analytics firm found that its website was created in January of this year, with a physical address belonging to a hotel and an email domain pertaining to a logistics company.
As a company registration code, on the BDL Bank website they present one that corresponds to a financial consultancy; The partners of the latter are Chaves and Barbosa, two of the founders of Trust Investing and, according to their registration, their main activity is “technical support, maintenance and other services in information technology,” according to Tulip Research.
With regard to the Trust Diamond Investment Security company, a BrókerOnline.es website campaign, together with the Criminal Law Area of Chavarri Abogados and the Misletrados.com office, indicated in May this year that the alleged organization has branches in the United States, Hong Kong and Israel; however, her exact address is unknown. They added:
“Trust Diamond Investing Security and Trust Investing have the same company, since they share the same telephone number, (507) 202-3016 ext. 123, which indicates that it is the same company and not a collaboration ”.
When viewing the Trust Diamond Investment Security website from the link on the Trust Investing website, the web browser shows that this is a page that cannot be accessed.
Tulip Research also presented that one of the directors of Trust Investing, Diego Chaves, “has been involved in 5 legal proceedings in Brazil ”, of which two were related to the financial field.
In addition, the firm found that there is a company registered in Panama as TRUCRYPTO SA, with five members, only one of the directors coinciding with those presented on the Trust Investing website, specifically, Fabiano Lima.
From the analysis firm they also shared information on the movements of Trust Investing, and came to the conclusion that “the flow of money does not match that of a company that is dedicated to the management of crypto assets“.
BeInCrypto en español tried to contact the Trust Investing team via email, however, so far no response has been received from them.
Trust Investing is very popular in Cuba
TrustInvesting.com is one of the most visited pages in Cuba; In June this year, Tulip Research reported that the website ranked 75th in Cuba, according to Alexa, and 59th, according to SimilarWeb.
By consulting Alexa At the time of writing this article, Cuba is the country in which the Trust Investing website is best positioned, being located in the place number 25 in the Alexa ranking, where 39.2% of website visitors in the last 30 days are in Cuba, followed by Mexico (18.3%) and Colombia (12.3%). On the other hand, in SimilarWeb, Cuba is also the country where this website was better positioned, standing in the position number 14.
It should be noted that last June the information medium Cubans around the World disclosed that an official of the Cuban telecommunications company ETECSA had been singled out for being linked to an alleged crypto asset scam network, called Trust Investing, of which introduced himself as manager on the island.
According to him Twitter user Ernesto de Armas, apparently even the Central Palace of Computing in Cuba has been used by promotores de Trust Investing for your conferences. For his part, the aforementioned official explained that his functions within ETECSA had nothing to do with his “enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies and Trust Investing ”.
Educate yourself to avoid falling for scams
From BeInCrypto en Español we contacted the Cuban programmer and youtuber Erich García Cruz, who has made efforts to teach Cubans to detect Internet scams, and has alerted them acerca de Trust Investing. García Cruz provided a clear opinion:
“Trust Investing, as well as any other website that promises you a return on investment with cryptocurrencies totally unknown to the investor, is a scam.”
García Cruz shared that he considers that the TrustInvesting.com website is positioned in Cuba “because the number of participants, currently constantly overflowing with their referrals and” earnings “, makes it grow in visits and therefore, it is positioned.
Notably the use of cryptocurrencies in Cuba has been gaining ground in recent years, as a way of facing the economic crisis on the island and accessing the international market; even the Cuban regime announced last year who was studying the use of these to stimulate the economy.
Scammers could take advantage of this reality, so it is very important to educate yourself about the use of cryptocurrencies and do your research before making any type of investment.