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Quickpay (quickpay.today) was launched in July 2016 providing Bitcoin investment services from the United Kingdom. The company’s legitimacy has been evaluated based on the items listed below. Every individual item has been checked for the presence of obvious red flags or warning signals. If these are present, an explanation detailing what triggered them has been included. A detailed description of the reasons to evaluate each of the included items can be found below the table.
|Phantom Riches||The website immediately dangles huge returns per day in front of the visitors providing "3% per day indefinitely".|
|Source Credibility||Quickpay tries to build credibility by featuring extensive profiles of their professional team, but utterly fails at this as the persons can easily be exposed as fakes (see Verified Owner).|
|High Return / Low Risk||Quickpay's plans return a completely unsustainable rate of return of more than 90% per month.|
|Overly Consistent, Positive Returns||The returns at Quickpay are seemingly unaffected by market liquidity or volatility, as returns are perfectly stable.|
|Downplaying Risks||Quickpay doesn't feature any risk disclosure at all.|
|Secretive or Complex Trading Strategy||On the question "WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO?" in the FAQ the full answer is: "Our company is involved in trading on the stock exchange market." That's it. Seriously?|
|Website Registration Details||quickpay.today was registered July 8, 2016.|
|Website Design||The website's creator was probably in a hurry to build this scam, or at least not intending to put a lot of effort in it. Besides stealing people's pictures and using them for fake profiles (see Verified Owner) also the user agreement has been copied completely from clicksend.|
|Grammar on Website||Considering the limited original content (see Website Design) there's little that can go wrong.|
|Payments Options||Only anonymous payment methods such as Bitcoin, Perfectmoney and Payeer|
|Service Disruptions & Unbusinesslike Conduct||The lack of original terms and conditions (see Website Design) result a limited legal basis for doing business.
|Contact Information||The website features no contact information, just a link to the business registration.|
|Verified Address||The company register shows the address is: Dibdale Manor, Flatts Lane, Nunthorpe, TS7 0PQ, but this isn't very reliable information (see Business Registration). The location has not been visited.|
|Verified Owner||The CEO's name is Philip Christophe Allick, but the website actually features a picture of Arnold Jansen (Senior Product Marketing Manager at Nokia) along with the CEO's profile. Hence this person is obviously fake. Likewise the profile of Chief Trader Daniel Russell features a picture of Neil Lacheur (Vice President - Property Management at Bentall LP). This scam is making it too easy to expose it for what it really is.|
|Business Registration||The company is registered in the UK (as TRADING ASSETS LIMITED) with company number 08414208 as of February 2013. One interesting thing in the registration is that it shows the company is dormant. Also, it should be noted that Companies House does not actively check addresses and names. Hence this registration doesn't hold any real value anyway.|
|Financial Regulator Registration||Given that Quickpay is an Investment Service, it should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There is, however, no record of the company in the public register.|
|Total Flags: 13 (3 Warnings = 1 Flag)|
Note that items with a warning instead of a flag indicate that these could occur at a legitimate company. For example, legitimate companies will normally try to persuade you into buying their products. Multiple warnings will, however, still trigger a flag. A description for the listed items is provided below. This list is meant to assist with identifying obvious scams, and therefore does not provide any guarantees that a company is truly legitimate.
The most common tactic used by fraudsters is called “phantom riches”. By dangling the prospect of wealth such as “big payoffs”, the scam artist tries to get you to stop thinking logically.
Using the fear of missing out, fraudsters create a false sense of urgency with statements such as “last chance” or “only so few available”. This causes people to agree hastily, before even having the opportunity to think about what they’re doing.
Persuasion is more likely when the source presents itself as being credible, expert and trustworthy. Common tactics used by scammers to make themselves look legitimate include using fake websites or hacked emails and pretending to be someone they are not. Alternatively, sources can also be external with claims such as “Warren Buffet has already invested in this”.
Fraudsters take advantage of herd behavior by creating the illusion of consensus or social proof that the investment is legitimate with claims that “everybody is already doing it”, or referral programs in which members encourage their friends and associates to invest as well. This automatically triggers something in the head that says: “if everybody [or someone from the inner circle] wants it, it must be good”.
A business is likely to receive far more of our trust when it provides a lot of free value, because of the rule of reciprocity which causes us to tend to feel obligated to return favors after people do favors for us
All investments carry some degree of risk, so a guaranteed profit is a clear red flag.
High Return / Low Risk
Like a guaranteed return, a high return / low risk investment opportunity also defies the common risk-return relationship. The best advice is an old one: “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.
Overly Consistent, Positive Returns
Cryptocurrency markets are among the most volatile markets, hence the performance of any related product or service is also expected to fluctuate.
The fraudster will do anything to provide a false sense of security, such as presenting some form of external risk insurance for the investment. In reality, insurance is only seldom acquired and guarantees typically lack substance. Dummy companies are often used to act as the guarantor or insurer. Other actions may include misrepresenting, or even non-disclosure of risks involved.
Secretive or Complex Trading Strategy
Even in the world of cryptocurrencies one should be skeptical about special competitive advantages without any proper disclosure, or when the information is incomprehensible or incomplete. Too often only the positive elements are accentuated.
Considering the importance of domains and websites in the internet age, there is almost no reason for a legit company not to have one.
Website Registration Details
Very few scam websites survive longer than one year, so domains are generally registered for just one year unless otherwise required for the specific domain. For the same reason, websites created less than one year ago should be considered suspicious.
Amateurish, cluttered and disorganized websites can point to a scam as many scam sites use text and images from legit websites and other sources which may not work together very well.
Grammar on Website
Many scammers have limited English proficiency.
Even though cryptocurrency payment options are logical for a cryptocurrency company, it is also very convenient for scammers as the recipient essentially remains anonymous. The same goes for services such as Western Union and Moneygram. Hence a lack of alternative payment options should still be considered a warning signal.
Service Disruptions & Unbusinesslike Conduct
Especially Ponzi scheme promotors will encourage participants to “roll over” their investment. These schemes are not very fond of investors cashing out, which may lead to difficulties receiving payments and a non-responsive or difficult to reach customer service.
Legitimate companies have very little reason not to list their contact information.
First, you should never hand your hard-earned money over without knowing where it is going. Second, you should do a background check to avoid handing it to a known scammer. Be weary of people without an online identity. Scammers will typically try to hide their identity or conceal their true identity to avoid being easily discovered. Especially investment services are normally subject to strict regulatory oversight, so a registration should not be hard to find.
Audits certainly do not root out every instance of fraud, but auditors do have a responsibility to detect errors or fraud in the company’s financial statements.