I think my elderly aunt is getting involved in a Bitcoin mining MLM scheme. Can someone please help me identify if this business is legit?
I posted this on /antiMLM and someone suggested I post here. TL;DR at the bottom. I'm so sorry this is so long, but I am just very worried about my aunt. She just recently lost her husband to cancer. Before he passed away, he invested money in some sort of Bitcoin mining company. The transaction was facilitated by a couple that I think he had seen present the business model at a "millionaire's clubhouse" \(my aunt's words\). The idea was that they buy hardware from their company which will mine Bitcoin little by little over three years. They say that it is more stable than buying Bitcoin, which can fluctuate in price and cause you to lose money. They give you an account you can log in to so that you can check your progress. Yesterday, my aunt told my mom that she had earned money from mining and wanted to invest it in more mining hardware on my and my younger brother's behalf. She wanted my brother to come over to her house to meet the couple she had been working with so that they can explain the whole process to him. Because she is inept with technology, she was hoping that he could manage her account as well. My mom was concerned that this was a scam and begged me to accompany my brother just so there was another objective eye. I agreed and brought along my boyfriend. So I'm going to try and do my best to describe what this couple was telling us. I don't know if it was just because I was tired, but it seemed like they were trying to explain this business as confusing as possible so that we couldn't ask them anymore questions.
To be able to use the mining hardware, you must buy into a "mining pool". There are three different kinds. I think it roughly goes from $500, $700, and $1000. The cheapest one will mine very small amounts. The more expensive the pool, the more Bitcoin is mined.
If you want to be able to mine a larger amount of Bitcoin, you can buy all mining pools for one price of $3900.
This is where the MLM alarms went off: the more people buy into your pool, the more Bitcoin you earn. So to really see the best profits, you would need to recruit people. This is essentially how this couple is making money. They showed us a preview of their mining pool and my boyfriend calculated that they were making around $1000 a day \(although we're not sure if what they showed us was even real\).
So here is a list of all the sketchy things the three of us noted:
My aunt got into this whole investment while my uncle was sick with a stage 4 brain tumor. I'm worried they made these financial decisions while my uncle was not completely right of mind.
The meeting was late at night, around 10pm. They were about 30 minutes late.
The woman was the one creating the log in account for us. She said it doesn't even have to include our real names. Just a gmail that we can access.
We cannot log in to check our mining process for 30 days. Apparently that's how long it takes for them to set up the mining hardware. The actual mining hardware is in Iceland.
The United States is "not friendly" towards Bitcoin, according to the lady, so to be able to access your account you need to have a VPN on your computer. I asked them if we needed it on ours, and they said no. So I asked why my aunt needed it on hers. Apparently if you want to be able to recruit people like my aunt did, you need a different account \(which surprise, you also have to pay for!\).
The mining will go on for 3 years. Depending on the kind of pool you buy and how many people are in that pool, a certain amount of Bitcoin will be earned. Obviously the more expensive the pool and the more people you recruit, the more Bitcoin it will mine. They say that after 3 years, you could potentially have 1 full Bitcoin or more.
I asked them if my aunt was able to check on her account and the lady just responded "Your aunt has a book of usernames and passwords." When my aunt wanted to check how much her account was worth, they lady just laughed and said "You're worth enough". She did not bother to show my aunt her account, even after her insisting.
The man stayed completely silent until it was time to discuss all the "benefits" of Bitcoin and mining. He would not shut up about all the people he has recruited from all these different countries \(including our home countries too\). He also kept emphasizing how "passive" the money making process was, kept citing Forbe's magazine and the channel 11 news station regarding the huge value of Bitcoin, and bragged about being able to buy a Bentley and being close to buying his dream house. All he talked about was all the money he and his wife and other people were making from Bitcoin and my poor aunt was eating that shit up.
My aunt wanted to just buy one account for my brother and I to share, but the lady kept insisting she buy us separate ones \(including one for my boyfriend\). Luckily my aunt was dead set on just getting one.
They were asking my aunt if their meeting with her friend was set. She told them her friend was not available until 2 weeks from now and they said "No, it has to be soon. We can't wait."
I think my aunt is able to access her account. She says that she has already earned $1000 from the account that she set up in September. According to her, she has withdrawn money from there to help another aunt out with some expenses. At the end of the meeting, it turns out she couldn't even use the money she earned to buy us our own account because she has maxed out on her withdrawals \(at least, that's the impression I got from the woman. Again, she was vague\). She had to write a new check for $3900. The woman was very eager and even wrote the company name on the check for her. She also obnoxiously showed off another check that she had received from a client she had met that same day. We told our mom what we saw the next day and she was mad we didn't try to stop her. I really do feel terrible that I let her spend her money like that, but from what we saw it seemed like she was very set on this mining thing and that we couldn't have talked her out of it at that moment even if we tried. We called her today to ask if she was able to cancel the check because we didn't think the couple was very legit. She sounded angry and told us: "Well they already cashed the check. It's too late. I don't know what you've been reading but I know this works. I already earned $1000." My aunt has already tried to rope in some of my relatives on this scheme. A few were smart and saw right through the couple, and a few gave in just out of pity for my aunt. For her sake I'm hoping this will actually turn a profit, but I don't want her giving any more money to these people. I do have the URL to the mining website, but I didn't know if I am allowed to post it here. If necessary, I will PM the details to those who ask. TL:DR Is Bitcoin mining legit? My aunt has invested thousands in an MLM-type mining process that I don't completely understand or trust.
How do I mine my Bitcoin and is there some legit mining website where I will mine my Bitcoin?
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Direct message offer, for bitcoin mining profits in Instagram. Are they legit or scam?
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