Victor Moreno, a Venezuelan scammed by Arbistar, share your story with readers and request support from the crypto community in dealing with what happened.
For many people in a large number of countries, cryptocurrencies brought many business opportunities, becoming an alternative to overcome difficult financial scenarios. Such is the case of many residents in countries such as Venezuela and Argentina, where political and economic tensions cause residents to turn to these assets as a mechanism to protect their purchasing power.
However, in the space of cryptocurrencies there are also many fraudulent companies, which take advantage of the ignorance around these issues to make apparently lucrative investment proposals, with which they attract people to finally scam them and take their digital assets using in its favor the lack of regulation by the authorities.
Continuing the line of jobs dedicated to scams within the crypto ecosystem, DailyBitcoin presents the testimony of one of those affected by Arbistar, who used his savings in the hope of multiplying his capital and ended up losing everything after the abrupt cessation of operations by the trading bot operator company.
The story of Víctor Romero: “I lost my savings with Arbistar”
Through the official channels of DailyBitcoin Victor Romero, a father from Caracas, Venezuela, wrote to us on social networks, who invested his savings to buy Bitcoin and in this way protect their purchasing power from the economic problems that are experienced in the South American country.
Faced with the difficulty of finding a well-paid job, Romero knows about the company Arbistar through people who had generated income by operating through the platform. Although he worked trading and learned through videos of YouTube, assures that it seemed a good idea to use his capital to generate passive income, especially since it isand it was a company registered in the Special Zone of the Canary Islands, with physical offices in Tenerife:
I saw it as a solution to our economic problems, since at the rate we were going, we would consume our savings only on food … and then we would have no other option since in Venezuela we cannot find work, and in what there is, they pay my wife approximately USD $ 10 a month , who is a civil engineer. And in my case, I was getting a much smaller amount.
The commercial offer of Arbistar
When asking Romero about the offer of Arbistar, this commented:
“The offer that Arbistar made was to put a capital in the company, a minimum of USD $ 100 in Bitcoin (at that time) … and that invested capital provided you with an approximate 8 – 12% monthly profit, which was paid every Saturdays. Or if the client preferred, those weekly earnings could be reinvested to increase the capital to be obtained ”.
“You could withdraw 100% of the total investment after 60 days of depositing the funds, and each reinvestment counted separately for the following 60 days before being withdrawn. In my case, I was very optimistic because with my weekly earnings I could buy food for my family, and sometimes, when we had that covered, I would choose to reinvest the profits ”.
As such, Romero joined the company on May 22, 2019, and invested around BTC 0.68 (equivalent to USD $ 5,397 at that time) that he managed through his account at Uphold. His investment allowed him to operate through the Community Bot of Arbistar, which derived profits comprised between the aforementioned percentages, granting the investor 70% of that capital as profit making payments to users every Saturday, estimated at an average of USD $ 120 per week.
The irregularities begin
Although Romero apparently made a profit with the company by maintaining its capital, the irregularities with Arbistar began at the beginning of September 2020, by which time he tried to withdraw all of his funds to dedicate himself fully to trading activities.
In this regard, Romero states:
“On the 2nd of this month (September), I requested the withdrawal of 100% of my capital to dedicate myself to trading, and now it turns out that I don’t even have USD $ 1 so that my family can feed themselves …”.
And it expresses:
This is the cause of my despair, since if BTC 0.68 for many people could not be much, for us it was the savings of our life and the hope to be able to overcome so many difficulties.
Arbistar suspend payments and withdrawals
Romero indicated that uncertainty increased notably when September 12 arrived and Arbistar He stopped paying weekly earnings, which had never happened since he introduced his capital the previous year.
By September 13, the company publish a statement in which he reports on the alleged irregularities he went through with the Community Bot, indicating that from the 15th of that month they would resume payments for the affected persons, which did not happen.
When it became clear to Romero that something was happening, he proceeded to contact the support team and they gave him an unfavorable response regarding his funds:
If I have tried but they answer that they will pay in a period of up to two years, which for my family is unthinkable because I cannot tell my 5-year-old to wait a few months to eat …
While it is true that Mr. Santiago Fuentes (owner of the company) insists that they pay some of the money to people, it is clear that the company does not have the funds to do so.
No possibility to make claims
For Romero, given the nature of the case, the type of assets with which it operated, the fact that the company is based in another country and the little confidence in the Venezuelan authorities, the main concern is the fact that to be able to recover the savings in Bitcoin invested in Arbistar.
When asked if he chose to report what happened to the country’s authorities, he replied:
“We have not tried it because we know that it would be completely useless, since the laws in Venezuela are not for ordinary people. I also know of cases of people who mined cryptocurrencies and have been arrested as if it were a crime just to steal their mining machines … In short, there is no trust in said authorities.
Although recent reports assure that those affected are already organizing in Spain to file a class action lawsuit, there are few expectations that those affected will recover the cryptocurrencies hosted on the platform, precisely because Cryptocurrencies do not have effective regulations in a large number of countries, and because the nature of these assets makes the owners completely responsible for the management of their capital.
The research portal, Tulip Research, indicates that Arbistar operated a large-scale pyramid investment scheme, which had more than 120,000 users, and it is estimated that what happened with the Community Bot of the company affected more than 30,000 people. Other reports indicate that the founder of the company, Santiago Fuentes, was denounced in 2007 for similar crimes and acquitted by the Spanish authorities.
Affected asks for help
In the case of Romero, given that the events that occurred resulted in the loss of his life savings, and he faces financial difficulties to guarantee the livelihood of his relatives, he is currently asking for the support of the crypto community to face this situation. If anyone interested in helping you wishes to communicate with him, you can do so through the email address [email protected]
Avoid being the victim
Although Romero’s story is common today among the large number of people affected by Arbistar, the ecosystem of digital currencies is littered with lots of similar testimonials. There are many people who claim to have been scammed by companies that offered quite lucrative investment offers, which captured the investment in cryptocurrencies, withholding the funds and ceasing their operations when the business model was no longer sustainable.
In the same way that we mentioned it in other posts associated with scams, once again we highlight the importance of being adequately informed about the operation of these technologies and their associated markets. The lack of knowledge about the subject, the volatility of prices and the technological properties of cryptocurrencies open space for organizations to take advantage and end up deceiving people interested in negotiating with these assets.
Thanks to Victor Romero for agreeing to share his testimony with readers and for facilitating the captures of his account in Arbistar.
Article and interview by Angel Di Matteo / DailyBitcoin
Picture of Pixabay