Interview with “FinanceFirst LTD.”, the Company Used by Scammers!

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It all started at the beginning of this year. In early January, BiteBTC, a cryptocurrency exchange, reported that they occurred a fire within their data centers. From this point on, the users of BiteBTC couldn’t even imagine the pain they will have to go through. We interviewed one of the companies that BiteBTC used as a cover to hide their illegal activities. The company – FinanceFirst LTD., was on the footer of BiteBTC for quite some time, indicating the official address and company name. Recently Investment Stab started receiving e-mails from the victims of BiteBTC. That’s when they found out that their company is being used by fraudulent purposes.

After the fire, BiteBTC claimed that their main backup servers were destroyed. Interestingly enough, this happened three days before the annual Proof-of-Keys event, where users withdraw their funds located on exchanges in order to see the exchange’s ability to provide solvency. Apparently, BiteBTC failed, as, after the fire, many users started complaining that they can’t access their accounts. Since then, we have dug a little deeper and tried to educate our readers on this possible scam.

Today, it seems like they are still operating the same way as they were after the fire. We still receive customer complaints about this exchange. They are locking users funds, and banning them form the website. The most common practice is to use a higher price of other cryptocurrencies, so that newcomers register in order to use the arbitrage opportunity within the exchange. Their first deposit is successful as well as the first trade. The problems start when customers are trying to withdraw larger sums than $100. Their accounts immediately get blocked and they receive an e-mail explaining that they have violated the company’s terms of service. When contacting the support team, usually there is no answer or they just describe that there is nothing a user can do.

Additionally, their Twitter profile is packed with negative user complaints and it looks like they are still operating. Of course, now they have changed the website footer to a different company FirstFinance LLC which is supposedly based in Seychelles.

Approached By Falsely Accused Owners

When we first reported about BiteBTC we found customer findings of the possible owners of BiteBTC. Once we published the article, a few weeks later we got approached by a company which was previously mentioned on the website footer of BiteBTC as their legal name and address. The company was FinanceFirst Pte. LTD. It is a Singapore company which specializes in educational material on investing in their blog Investment Stab. They contacted us by saying that they have nothing to do with BiteBTC and that their company name is being used by scammers! They even shared a message to all users who got scammed by BiteBTC.

Since we are still receiving e-mails from BiteBTC victims, we decided to do an interview with the owners of FinanceFirst Pte. Ltd, and their company Investment Stab. They explain how they encountered the scam and what can the victims possibly do if they realize that they have been scammed. Enjoy!


Explain who you are and what is your primary business?

We are Investment Stab, a financial blog under the company FinanceFirst Pte Ltd, registered in Singapore. Our primary business is in media advertising.

When did you first find out about BiteBTC using your company’s identity?

We first got a few emails in our corporate mailbox around the second half of 2018. We thought that these were scam emails and so we deleted them and brushed them off. We only started to take notice in early 2019 when the victims started contacting us on LinkedIn. It was then when we did a Google search on ourselves did we realised that BiteBTC had used our name for fraud.

How do you think and why they chose your company?

We were unlucky? They chose a company that is new, has a finance name, dealing in the media industry, is relatively small, and in a country that is currently being promoted internationally as a fintech hub.

How has that affected your business and its credibility? Financial issues?

It hasn’t affected the normal dealing of our business, but it has affected our credibility when it comes to us publishing our content to our audience. The more critical issue is that it has impacted us personally as our directors’ personal information was leaked online, and it led to victims coming to harass us.

The BiteBTC scam seems to be still ongoing, are there any extra steps that you as a company have taken against BiteBTC? Have you had any communication with them? Maybe legal works?

They have since changed the company name they used to another company’s. We have also lodged a police report on BiteBTC. We can only tell the public we are not related to BiteBTC and hope that people don’t become the next victims.

What is your opinion, what needs to be done to stop scammers like BiteBTC from continuing to operate? Many victims have filed multiple complaints in various countries, do you think that helps? Can the authorities do something?

People need to be more educated, do more research, and not be blinded by greed. This was what we set out to do: to get people financially educated and informed.

What is the best advice what to do if you just found out that you got scammed by BiteBTC?

Contact the local authorities regarding the scam, and provide the authorities with all the relevant information that could aid them in their investigation. Also, be mentally prepared that the money might never be coming back to me.

Any further steps you are executing regards this issue? Can the community help?

If the community has any new information, do share it with their local authorities, or pass the information to the forums/blogs/chat groups created for this scam. What us at Investment Stab can do, is to educate, and spread the word that BiteBTC is a scam and that there could be many more of such scams preying on unknowing investors. Investors need to stay alert, and not put in their life savings. As with all prudent financial planning, never invest money that you cannot afford to lose – because you just might lose everything if you invest in a wrong company.

Your advice to cryptocurrency enthusiasts?

The cryptocurrency world is just like the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s, there are going to be crypto that will be wildly successful, and creates lots of richest. The 2000s created really successful companies like Amazon, Adobe, ARM, eBay; but 99% of those other dot-com companies also crashed. The same pattern will happen in the crypto world – some will succeed, many will crash, we just don’t know yet which one will belong to which side, so invest cautiously.


Thank you Investment Stab/FinanceFirst LTD. for your time! We hope that this issue will soon be taken care of and addressed globally. Be sure to visit their website and check out their blog! They have amazing material on traditional assets and investing in the traditional markets.

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Falsely accused owners of BiteBTC.com shares a message

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Recently we got approached by the owners of FinanceFirst Pte. Ltd which is a Singapore investments company. They manage a blog called Investmentstab.blogspot.com. Many of us who closely follow the ongoings of BiteBTC, know that this was the company mentioned in their previous footer of the web page.

Investmentstab contacted us by saying that they are not the owners of BiteBTC, and asked us to update the article. And so we did. Now they made a new blog post regards the BiteBTC issue. It appears that they have filed a police report for theft of their identity. We managed to re-post their article on our platform for it to reach a wider audience. Below you can read their full post:


Investmentstab message to their users

Dear Readers,

It has come to our attention that a cryptocurrency exchange, under the name of BiteBTC.com, has been FRAUDULENTLY using our name to operate and promote their exchange, cheating investors of their hard earn money through investments in cryptocurrencies on their platform. The footer of BiteBTC’s website previously claimed to be operated by FinanceFirst Pte. Ltd and was located in Singapore with our rightful UEN identifier. After being alerted by various users, BiteBTC.com have since changed the footer of their website where it claims to be operated by a company named ‘First Finance LLC’, located in Seychelles (East Africa).
Investment Stab is a blog under the company, FinanceFirst Pte Ltd. We are not involved in any cryptocurrency exchange activities or stored value facility. Any activities by BiteBTC.com are not associated with or carried by us. As to reasons why our details and UEN identifier were listed and misappropriated by BiteBTC.com, this information can be easily obtained from ACRA (Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority) of Singapore by doing a search in BizFile. More details can also be easily purchased from BizFile at SGD 11.

When we searched for ‘First Finance LLC’, this company came up, and it is based in the United States of America (USA). It is evident that BiteBTC.com is probably using another company or is a non-existent company to continue their fraudulent business practice. No other information on its operating team or members were found on its website.
We have since lodged a police report against BiteBTC.com for theft of our identity and we trust that the police will investigate the matter. In addition, we were also told that there have already been several reports lodged against the BiteBTC.com for fraud.

In addition, we would also like to use this to educate our fellow readers on the issues surrounding cryptocurrency as an investment or trading instrument. Cryptocurrency currently operates in the legal grey area of many countries and is often not regulated. Due to the nature of technology, ambiguity and opaqueness are usually inherent where investors often do not fully understand its capabilities and promises. With such characteristics, combined with the promised hype of riches, it is a superior tool for scams and other illegal activities. We hope to warn readers and potential investors of any cryptocurrencies to carry out extensive research and exercise judgement on the accuracy of the information presented.

Investment Stab is a financial education platform. We aim to be the site where people can reach out to learn about personal finance, and we are committed to continuing towards that goal. Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated should there be any new findings from the police.
Thank you.
From:
The team at Investment Stab


Moreover, the domain bitebtc.com has been taken down by the efforts of other users. Also, BiteBTC has contacted us and more information will follow.

SHOCKING: BiteBTC is still Scamming ICOs And Users! UPDATE!

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The UPDATED text is at the end of the article!

Recently we covered a news story about BiteBTC.com. To recap – they announced that a fire had occurred within their data centers on new years eve and that all their main backup servers were destroyed. After this, a storm of negative user complaints fired about their accounts being inaccessible. They neither could access their accounts nor withdraw any funds. Above all, this happened three days before the annual Proof-of-Keys event, where users withdraw all their funds from exchanges to see the exchanges ability to provide solvency. Naturally, this raised a lot of suspicion about a possible exit scam. When we published the article, BiteBTC.com blocked us on Twitter. What kind of message does this send to us? Let’s see how far the situation has escalated up until now.

BiteBTC.com changes their legal address.

While browsing the bitcointalk.com forum, we found a senior user (subwoofer12) post who had noticed that bitebtc.com changed the footer of their front page. In order to confirm these claims, he demonstrated a couple of screenshots from the bitebtc.com website. Previously their footer, on which we based the information about their legal headquarters, was:

“Copyright © 2018 FINANCEFIRST PTE. LTD. All rights reserved. Consumer advisory – FINANCEFIRST PTE. LTD. (UEN 201706635G) the holder of FINANCEFIRST stored value facility, does not require the approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.”

However, now they have changed the footer to:

“Copyright © 2019 First Finance LLC, Seychelles. All rights reserved. Consumer advisory – First Finance LLC the holder of BITEBTC stored value facility, does not require the approval of the Seychelles Financial Services Authority.”

In contrast to the previous information, there is not much you can find about this new Seychelles location they have provided. It is an off-shore zone. Typically such companies go offshore to avoid taxes, money laundering, and corruption claims.

As subwoofer12 writes: “Perhaps trying to hide owner/shareholder information by incorporating in Seychelles, it’s a little bit late for that now.”

The owners of BiteBTC.com?

The user Subwoofer12 did very good work on finding information about this particular case. He managed to get the business profile of their company from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Of course, this information could not be 100% accurate.

It shows that the owners of FINANCEFIRST PTE. LTD. are two Singapore citizens Ng Chee Siang (The director) and Sim Zi Chao (The secretary).

Also, subwoofer12 found a little of background information on these two guys, he writes:

“If these two want to resolve the situation you can start by returning all the money that you’ve stolen from your customers
There’s a chance these are the wrong people, but I’m almost sure that I’m correct. Both of them have an interest in finance, they used to run this blog together https://investmentstab.blogspot.com/ Viewing post activity on LinkedIn shows them liking topics related to Blockchain
It seems that they met each other while interning at the Bank of America in Singapore, looking at their work history on LinkedIn the periods of time match up.”

We do not assure that these are the people behind BiteBTC. We are only portraying what is available on the internet and what people are claiming.

BiteBTC.com now is asking for 0.01 BTC deposits to restore accounts!

The bitcointalk.org forum thread on this case was quiet for a while, but a few days ago a user westbanker posted an image which shows that the official BiteBTC support e-mail asks for a 0.01 BTC deposit to rectify his account.

If this is true, then this is an absolute madness!

Here is a e-mail conversation from with westbanker and the BiteBTC.com support:

“Me: When are my funds going to get restored to my account? I have been waiting almost 2 months.

Them: We will have to rectify your account for that
Once we rectify your account
Your issue will be resolved immediately.
Reply us back so we can tell you the procedure to rectify your account!

Me: How do we rectify my account?

Them:
You will have to make a deposit of 0.01btc to the rectification wallet address we will provide for you to rectify your account.
Once we rectify your account the btc will be refund back to you and after that your issue will be resolved immediately.
Reply us back so we can provide you the rectification wallet address to deposit into!

Me: I habe to give you money to get my money back? No, that’s not how this works.
You are scamming people. Give me my fucking money back

Them:
We’ve nothing to do with your money
Just to rectify your account
Then once we do that
Your money will be refund back to you immediately

Me: Why do I have to send you money to get my money back? Please explain that to me

Them:
The btc is for us to rectify your account so that your issue can get resolved
We’ve nothing to do with your money
It will be refund back to you once the rectification is done

Me:
Explain exactly how you need more money to rectify my account.

What are you spending money on to rectify your own files?

Them:
It’s not your work
It’s our work okay!
If you want your issue to get solved
You do what we asked you to do
Or you leave
And your issue will never get resolve

It’s not your work; You do what we asked you to do, or leave… Wow, this looks like a great example of how you should never communicate with your clients.

Twitter communication

As I mentioned above, BiteBTC Twitter blocked Best Coin Investments after we published the article. But as we all know – that cannot stop us from accessing their content. The strange thing is – they are operating like nothing would’ve happened. They’re making airdrop auctions, showing-off that they now have $100M in daily volume, and posting information on newly listed coins. However, every single post has at least one user saying that you should definitely read more about this exchange, and even more users asking for a refund.

But this tweet is just literally something out of this world:

Apparently, their Twitter manager has no idea that there isn’t such thing as a February 30.

Go check it out yourself. You will soon discover not to do any business with this exchange because of the bad reviews. Lots and lots of users are advising not to use this exchange.

Fraudulent token listing

While regular users are waiting for their refunds, BiteBTC successfully operates in listing new coins. However, there are claims of some ICO projects that BiteBTC has collected the listing fee, but somehow failed to pass the exchange’s verification process. Needless to say that they also haven’t received a refund.

“Dear Globycoin Team,
Thank you for your response!
We’ve received your payment and forwarded your request to our developers.
Your coin will be listed within 5 business days because of a queue.
I will inform you in 24 hours about your listing.
Additionally, we can list your coin within 24 hours for additional 0.1 btc Premium Listing fee or within 48 hours for additional 0.05 btc Express Listing fee.
Additionally, I would like to offer you to run Airdrop to attract more traders to your coin.
Please check some of our previous campaigns:
https://twitter.com/bitebtccom/status/983671610594025473– 1K participants in less than 2 days;
https://twitter.com/bitebtccom/status/994578155926106112– 400 participants in less than 12 hours.
I’ll be glad to offer you special conditions and run your airdrop within 1 week.
Thank you for being a part of BiteBTC community!”

– Response to Globycoin

So it looks like they are mainly living off of ICO listing fees. Also, Best Coin Investments is not the only one who got blocked by them on Twitter.

“We Team EGEM paid the listing fee and got “listed” but none of our coin holders could trade. When I asked Steven (the sales rep) about this he offered to sell me “Market Making services” – how is that for a scam.
We complained on their twitter and alerted the other coins that were paying the listing fees and got blocked”

Conclusion

From our perspective, this looks like a 100% scam. The communication with users is beyond any criticism. They claim that they have started coin redistribution, but somehow, nobody has received it.

If anyone from BiteBTC.com wants to back up these claims, please contact us at info@bestcoininvestments.com!

Some users claim that the owners are arrested in Singapore, but that is unofficial. However, that might be the reason for deleting the trade history of all the users. Also, they moved their company to Seychelles, which is very strange.

What is even more shocking, not mentioning the “You do what we asked you to do or you leave” comment, is that one of the solutions that they provide their users is registering again and trading with no initial balance. “You can open a new trader account, pass the KYC verification with the same photo id and start trading with no initial balance.”

Bitcointalk.org users claim that they have not received any refunds as BiteBTC.com claims.

Also, users from bitcointalk are submitting requests to CoinMarketCap to delist the exchange, in order to stop them.

This is unbelievable how an exchange with this kind of reputation can still manage to operate. It could be that all those accounts which are engaging with them are fake, just to make the exchange seem live. Hosting airdrops just for twitter engagement seems odd as well. We all know that the air-drop hunters don’t care what, who or where, “just gimme the damn coins”. But a new low for the cryptocurrency exchange business would be the combo of scamming users and ICOs as well. It looks like they feel so infamous at this point.

Needless to say that people are engaging with the police to stop this madness.


Links to previous articles about BiteBTC
Is BiteBTC a scam exchange?
Proof-of-keys: The exchanges that failed

We also did an article on how to choose the best exchange for trading, giving a few examples of good exchanges:
How to choose the best crypto trading exchange!

Moreover, we recently did an explanatory article on how to report scammy exchanges:
7 Ways How to Report a Scam Exchange


Update:
We received an e-mail from one of the BiteBTC customers who also suffers from the exchange. He told us that only 3 days ago the exchange stole 0.45 BTC from him. Their excuse is that he had violated the terms and conditions. However, the user says he didn’t violate any rules, they just blocked him! He cannot access his account and judging by the e-mail he received from BiteBTC, this is their final decision.
This is the e-mail he received:


If you are a victim of BiteBTC or have some useful information about this particular subject, contact us at info@bestcoininvestments.com, or send an e-mail to a group of people who share the same negative experience with BiteBTC at bitebtcfraud@gmail.com.

Source:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4612714.720
https://imgur.com/a/t2LiFe1
https://imgur.com/czyOcMI
https://www.cryptoinfowatch.com/bitebtc-when-scammers-run-a-crypto-exchange/

Is BiteBTC a scam exchange?

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Recently we reported that BiteBTC experienced a fire within their data centers in Singapore. We immediately sent our reporters to Singapore to check out the situation. It appears that there was no fire recorded. Also, BiteBTC headquarters are located in an apartment building, referring to their company address 553 SERANGOON NORTH AVENUE 3, SINGAPORE provided by opencorporates. It looks like it might be a scam.

Locals say that no fire reported

Since our reporters found out that their headquarters is an apartment building, they went off in the streets of Singapore to ask its residents about any news of the fire. Locals responded negatively, saying that if there actually were a fire, it would most definitely be covered by local newspapers and televisions. Singapore is very open to their residents. They have a perfect society, well-planned infrastructure and they want its residents to feel safe. This raises suspicion about the authenticity of the news BiteBTC.com provided on their website.

BiteBTC official address – an apartment building?

Although this might be true, and that could be a formal address, this only strengthens the suspicion regards the exchange being a scam. According to opencorporates.com, the registration number coincides with the number provided on their website. This information was contributed by an individual user. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any additional information about the company.

The apartment building located at 553 Serangoon North Avenue 3, Singapore.
The back yard of the apartment building on 553 Serangoon North Avenue 3, Singapore.

Huge daily volume

However, at the time of writing, according to coinmarketcap.com, they are operating with $70 million, which is equivalent to 17,407 BTC and rising daily volume. While writing this article the daily volume increased to $72 million, which is outrageous!

That is a lot of money, and I doubt that a company which handles so much of users funds could live off only with a formal address, located in an apartment building. Moreover, they haven’t specified the address of their data centers which caught the “fire”.

Users constantly reporting scammy characteristics

Since the announcement of a “fire”, their Twitter page is constantly flooded with users complaints. Despite users being so frustrated, they haven’t communicated regards their issues. They only keep adding coins to their exchange. On the same day when they announced the fire, they added Inmax (INX) token.

Twitter on fire

Since then every twitter post they have had is tampering with accusations of a scam. Users say that they cannot log in on their accounts, that they are locked and have disappeared. Also, reports of 2FA not working are up in the air. Needless to say that the exchange hasn’t replied to any of these comments.

Countless users lost their funds

It all started in a CCN article, in which a user wrote to CCN stating that he has lost about 2 BTC:

“Not sure who to talk to about this. Bitebtc.com closed its doors and stole everyone’s coins, even mine. I had a lot with this exchange. I’m in tears right now. I cannot log into their website at all.
I have lost about 2 bitcoins. I’ve never been this sad. How can an exchange based in Singapore steal $67 million and disappear ?? I filled out the form on the contact us page as requested in their latest news update with the fire. I sent that Jan. 3, after visiting their website that day when I tried to sign in and realized the system continuously said I did not have an account on there. That’s when I knew. I clicked ‘News’ on their header section and seen the latest news of the fire that apparently took place. I have not heard from bitebtc.com yet and I do not think I will. This is not fair at all.”

Many users claiming that their funds are lost.

Judging by their Twitter, this looks like a total disaster. Sorry for all the traders who deposited in the exchange, and now can’t access their accounts.

Lack of communication

The total lack of communication on Twitter is yet another sign of an exit scam. Not a single response to its users by the exchange. This is a common exit scam strategy.

What is weird is that their daily volume is increasing over the days. This might be due to their BTC/USD pairs which are trading slightly over the market price. Hence, the price of one BTC on BiteBTC.com is $4,462, while the actual price is $4,055 at the time of writing. Many traders could be using this opportunity for arbitrage trading.

Snapshot of their exchange, showing BTC trading at $4,487.

Posts coin redistribution roadmap and partial account restoration news

BiteBTC recently updated their website status saying that people need to fill out a form about coin redistribution. Also, claiming that “We managed to restore some of the accounts that were blocked”. However, there is no proof for this.

“We are not yet able to answer each one personally, although we are doing everything possible for this,” says on their website, “unfortunately, we have to admit that our specialists failed to recover part of the data from September 4, 2018, to January 1, 2019, including trades, deposits, withdrawals, orders, and some other information.”

Suggests to resent the KYC information

“If your account is not found, we ask you to re-register with the same e-mail address, and also upload KYC documents for the verification.
After that, we ask you to examine the Coin Redistribution Roadmap and fill out a form: http://bitebtc.com/coin-redistribution
If your account has been restored without balance and/or trading history, we also ask you to go through KYC verification and follow the Coin Redistribution Roadmap to recover your lost funds: http://bitebtc.com/coin-redistribution”

https://twitter.com/liepo2282/status/1082970706420224000

Is BiteBTC.com a scam exchange?

I would say yes because it totally meets all the exit scam characteristics. The total lack of communication on Twitter. Stating general information that no-one can approve. Countless unsatisfied users, lost funds, locked accounts. And above all, their official address is located in an apartment building. If the fire was real, as they claim, they should’ve provided the address of the data center which caught the fire and explain it more in detail. We at BestCoinInvestments strongly advise not to trade within this exchange and stay away from it as far as you can. They might do announcements for a while like it was in the case of CoinsMarkets.com until eventually, they stop coming and the website is down.

Additional information

If BiteBTC.com can back up all these claims in this article, or maybe even wants to do an explanatory interview, please contact us at info@bestcoininvestments.com so we can explain the situation to all the traders and investors.

Source:

https://www.ccn.com/singapore-bitcoin-exchange-bitebtc-com-claims-data-center-fire-on-proof-of-keys-day-exit-scam/
https://bitebtc.com/news
https://opencorporates.com/companies/sg/201706635G
https://coinmarketcap.com/exchanges/bitebtc/
https://twitter.com/bitebtccom