Friday, 25 August 2017

Naturalstone scam - following the footsteps of Recyclix?

I just spotted someone advertising this scam to a Facebook group related to Recyclix. I don't know yet if there are any actual connections to Recyclix scam, but there's definitely some resemblance.

On their website Naturalstone claims to be an international company that deals with investments in the Natural Stone sector. According to the website the scam has just recently been launched, 15th of August 2017 to be exact.

Just as any legitimate company would see no reason to do, Naturalstone takes special care to underline:
- We are not MLM
- We are not HYIP program
- We are not PONZI scheme
- We are real company with real product

Web Security Specialists from the Stone Age

It seems like the scammers setting up this scheme haven't started with a great belief on their success. 

The FAQ section states:

Well, maybe you should take another look on those "specialists in web security", because you're running your business through an unsecured website:

I suppose they are fishing at first if there was enough gullible victims to continue with this scheme before improving the appearance of the ponzi.

Stolen video clips to bring credibility to the scam

The website of the scam presents also a video clip showing some stone quarry men in action. The video clip has been stolen from a YouTube channel and it was originally published on YouTube 22 October 2009.

Update to the stolen video clip case 17 January 2018:

The scammers had changed the video clip afterwards. Again it was a video stolen from an unrelated YouTube channel.

This screenshot taken 17 January 2018 from NaturalStoneInvest-scam website.

The original video "Bangalore Quarry Work August 2012" published 2012 can be found here.

List of bogus investments to lure more victims to lose money

I couldn't find the actual name of the registered company behind the scheme – if there even is one. 

The company is using Bitcoin and Payeer to collect ponzi money. No bank wire transfer is available. Considering that bank wire is still the most used means of payment, I would predict a rocky start (heh) for this ponzi business.

The website contains also a section showing the latest investors and their investments made into the scheme. It looks like the bitcoin address of Natural Stone uses doesn't match with the claimed investments. I don't know about the investments made via Payeer but at least all Bitcoin payments seem to be just bogus information to attract victims to join to the ponzi. Also, I'm very sure that the member "HaistaVittu" didn't make that deposit on the list:

I only hope that none of these sums are real. At least I know for sure that HaistaVittu didn't make that deposit.

All in all Naturalstone is very similar to Recyclix. Instead of garbage this new scheme claims to share substantial profits from "Natural Stone" section.

The bottom line: Naturalstone is an obvious scam and no-one should invest a dime in this.

Update 13 September 2018

Nothing much has happened regarding Naturalstone scam after my post and it didn't turn out to be a great success.

The website of the scam isn't reachable at the moment, and I think it might have been removed for good. Before the site vanished the scammers tried to bring some credibility to the scheme by adding a false management group to the website. The picture of the management was copied directly from a website of a non-related firm.

A closed Facebook group of the scheme still has 11.425 members. I hope they didn't invest much into this obvious scam. Furthermore I hope they learned their lesson.

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