- Global network estimated to have scammed $1bn from victims
- Shadowy network set up like a multinational corporation
- These are the ways they take advantage of unsuspecting investors
A global scam operation overseen by the mysterious Milton group is estimated to have defrauded ordinary investors out of $1bn. Run along the lines of a worldwide multinational conglomerate, the network operates a variety of trading platforms, all designed to tap into the vulnerable points of its victims. It’s a worryingly well-run operation which ‘profiles’ its targets and steers them towards a trick that might catch them out.
Hard sells, unrealistic returns, and intense research
Even the victims of the Milton group might not have heard of the Milton name. Instead, the company they’re likely to have had dealings with could be Solo Capitals, BProFX, Coinevo, EverFX, or a number of other crooked sites. Each one looks professional, and each is set up to offer an unsuspecting victim the right bait to get them onto the hook.
The EverFX brand, for example, operated as an FCA-regulated trading platform until 2021, when the UK’s premier financial authority removed its licence. Many of the victims signed up for the apparent security of EverFX and would have been comforted by the fact that the firm was a sponsor of the top-ranking Spanish football team Sevilla FC. Unfortunately for victims, once the scammers had built enough trust, investors were often steered towards investment schemes offered by unregulated offshore entities – where losses escalated.
Other firms in the group adopt a more direct route. Social media posts promising unrealistic returns, sometimes 90% a day, would seem too good to be true. However, enquirers were tempted to click on online adverts, and the persuasive sales team and its hard-sell tactics were able to tap into the desperation of innocent regular investors.
The effectiveness of the scam is mainly due to the comprehensive support structure set up to support the scammers. Operating out of major Eastern European cities, teams are set up in professional-looking call centres complete with HR teams, ‘sales-person’ of the month awards, and team building away days to maintain morale. That can result in victims being worn down by the scam operators who can make more than a dozen calls in less than two hours. The information they glean from victims is logged and shared with other ’employees’ who pinpoint angles to utilise to drain funds out of accounts.
Once logged into a scammers’ directory, the victims are persuaded to sign up to crypto and stock ‘investment’ schemes, and they never see their money again. There is even a dedicated ‘recovery fraud’ team which uses knowledge of the loss to persuade victims to reinvest, this time in a scheme which misleadingly claims to be able to recover their funds.
There are, unfortunately, so many ways to scam somebody that a network like the Milton group can find the weak point of many individuals. That tilts the odds in favour of the fraudsters and means investors must be reminded to adhere to the guidelines on how to stay safe and remain vigilant.
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Crowdsourcing information about scam brokers can help others avoid falling into the traps set by disreputable brokers, and you can share your experiences here. If you would like to know more about this particular topic or have been scammed by a fraudulent broker, you can also contact us at [email protected]
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