An admittance of a personal failure, certainly no pinnacle of achievement, a failure to do some research and placing trust in the unknown, misplacing trust actually! Not a proud moment!
Given a great deal more spare time because of the Covid restrictions, I decided to follow up on what has been a mild curiosity in crypto currency investments. After yet another internet promo on “what the banks don’t want you to know” apparently supported by Bill Gates et al on how to make a lot of money very quickly, I made the required response into the cyber world investment arena.
After clicking on a link and even getting a warning response “Stop – You are making a mistake”, which I concluded was some “banking element” diversion, I became connected to an organization “grandefex.com” and blindly entered into their web by identifying myself and depositing the minimum Euro250 using my bank debit card. The bank dutifully requested confirmation of this transaction but made no further comment. So I became the excited investor of a little over $400aud and was allocated an account manager to assist me in the process.
Imagining that I would be advised how to best invest this princely sum into purchasing some recommended crypto currency, I was disappointed to learn that Grandefex, if it all able to do such a simple task, were in the business of themselves carrying out transactions of the nature of “betting on” various selected ‘assets’, in my case their choice of one or more crypto currencies, direction of movement.
No other choice of involvement was mentioned or suggested. A request to one account manager [AM] for actually purchasing an amount of currency was met with a negative response.
So, moving on, this took place mid April this year (2020) and I had access to my account details and to trading information in the form of a graphic chart, peripheral information and my actual trading activities as controlled by them.
This is an example of a typical screen, unfortunately at the end of trading, where the equity is a dismal minus Euro17.63. More details to follow.
When trading was in action, this is the type of information provided:
Moving on again. Equity at E250. (Euros).
First AM (Account Manager) John, discusses at length very little except how was I set for finances, what resources I had and how much money did I wish to make? Answer – I simply wanted to “dabble”, like as a hobby.
Each week day there was an increase in my equity of the order approaching E2 which, to me was impressive, as it represented about E7 or 8 per week, a return on E250 amounting to a calculated ~E 375 per year, an enormous 150% per annum, ‘somewhat’ better than bank investment rates, as I was repeatedly reminded by all AM’s.
So life and “profits” progressed steadily and satisfyingly EXCEPT for the barrage of phone calls from AM’s and there were many. Phone calls AND AM’s. Initially, attempts were made with John to intersperse emails in order to achieve better understandings, but that failed because Outlook decide to reject “grandefex” emails, even after listing them as “safe”. (Curious?)
Of course, I cannot do justice here to describing the phone calls, but the gist would be: “You must deposit more money if the system is going to provide real returns”. It is hard to describe the pressure being brought to bear to “deposit more money”.
These email extracts sent by me might convey the general situation:
Hello John. First, my Outlook should no longer be blocking you! Apparently something else is! Second , my investment hopes: My miniscule amount is, as I said, for fun. Therefore no opportunity for Grandefex to ”smile” about. However, it is the required minimum. All I ask is for you to recommend an investment ‘fund’, like what you have used for me to date, whose trading code would be given to me and be one of those displayed on the grandefex website. After that I can keep an eye on it and only bother you if it looks to be a problem. Current action with my money is encouraging – if it does no worse than averaging plus 1 Euro a day I am smiling! 😊 If it compounds, a big bonus 😊 😊 I appreciate your help ‘tonight’, and hope that one more ‘session’ will allow me to be self operating. Password management required. A little more understanding of the web page. No buying or selling, no short-term withdrawals. No more deposits. Just 😊 ! Regards, Ken.
So far in all our phone conversations, little has been achieved. I have made clear my desires for a little ‘fun’ play on the “market”, now in progress, and that part is just what I want, thank you! I have tried to make clear that no greater investment is of interest to me. Why is it that my very small requests are not all satisfied? Why is it that you do not accept my word for the “no further investment above the Euro250” limit? Is indeed unfortunate that we have been unable to gain an effective connection except for the phone, which must be costing a fortune. The dialogue itself is seemingly ineffective, however. Perhaps we can use the chat/question window? It is your choice to continue phone calls without achieving anything more, but why ???? Regards, Ken Mc
So the scene is set.
It might be worth mentioning that the Grandefex office was operating out of London, or at least that time zone. Their working hours generally started at about 4am, their time, which corresponds to 3pm in my time zone (Aus. EST). Phone conversations generally were about 6 – 9pm but a couple were after 11pm, my time.
17/4 E250 AM John
19/4 E259.97 AM Mia
23/4 E272 AM John Email sent, Scary introduction to “Anydesk” where I consent to their control over my PC whilst watching and allowing by not moving my cursor. Not a relaxing event.
24/4 E273 AM John Email sent
27/4 E274.55; thru to 18/5 E294.30 AM Michael
19/5 E295.64; thru to 18/6 E328.32 AM Silvio
Advised that they had no proof of initial deposit, resubmitted ID and Proof documents. Becoming wary about the company!
19/6 E329.85; 22/6 E331.42 AM Jason
E331.48 #11pm EST Aus AM Jason This where the SHTF, in response to my refusal to deposit more money, the result was extraordinary!
23/6 Next morning equity E217.01, by 13:00 EST, net profit E114.80 (loss)! Remember, previously equity = PLUS E331
Complained AM Steven – says can fix Jason’s dummy spit reaction to our phone conversation, IF I deposited more money!!!!
Complained AM Kenneth (someone with intelligence, [of course]), promised to fix the debacle, and did so! (Senior Manager).
30/6 Equity restored E335.75 AM Kenneth. He presumably remained in charge till 24/7 when equity = E353.88, no one else contacted me until –
27/7 E355.56; 28/7 E357.27 AM Edmond
29/7 E359.04 AM Emily, thru to 3/8 E364.18 Here there was a minor glitch in their records which was rectified quickly.
A request to buy XRP currency was met with the ridiculous response that I would have to deposit more, even though my equity was E160 greater than my initial investment. SO much bullshit from so many people, I then verbally requested a withdrawal of E100.
4/8 E365.91 AM Simon, advises can withdraw but not buy currency.
No action on withdrawal but equity continued to steadily increase.
17/8 E381.92 AM Natasha advises how I can initiate withdrawal myself. This screen take is taken after the final crash, but it designated at that time, the full equity of E381. It clearly states that I can withdrew up to the full equity amount.
So, on 18/8 an official request for a E100 withdrawal. No response for some time, so another entry was submitted, to be told that there was an existing pending request, so I cancelled the second.
Still no response by 31/8 at which time my equity had risen to E400.30. Reinstated the E100 withdrawal request and urgently complained on their chat line about inaction and a new AM, Frank came on the scene, assuring me that by 15 Sept I could withdraw whatever amount I wanted, and talked me into cancelling the existing documented request.
What a fool I was.
1/9 equity was E402.20
2/9 E329.54; 3/9 E286.68; 4/9 E271.92; 7/9 E277.75; 8/9 E224.42; at which stage my chat complaints stirred Frank into a phone call at 11:30pm here, saying the “Robot” cannot be stopped until the 15th.
Let me explain a little more about the trading methods as I understand them. Generally, all my trades were manually controlled by the AM. They would spend a few minutes each week-day creating profits for me as shown above. However they have a computerized system which they switched my account to every working day for the hours they were at work whereby 2 crypto currency accounts were selected for auto trading. A very small amount of my money was used, displayed on the graphic chart and generally less than E1. When questioned, amongst a great deal of varying rhetoric it seems that a lot more money was being used due to leverage, but still probably only 5 times the displayed amount.
Amazingly, over the preceding period of months, every day this technique produced one of three results – E0.01, 0.00 or 0.01 loss.
No amount of questioning this absurd process resulted in any sensible response nor any change .
So, the “Robot” that “couldn’t” be stopped till the 15th was in free-fall with my E400 resulting in – 9/9 E195.92; 10/9 E166.19; 11/9 E159.15; date not recorded, probably the 12th, E17.83 negative!
My notes strangely became a little disorganized as Frank had the “kindness” to ring and report the need for more money, at which stage I was laughing, probably hysterically. He asked why I was laughing, I think I said “did he think I was stark raving mad to provide more money”. He, in all seriousness, stated that the account would be closed, to which I agreed seemed appropriate. (Strangely, to this date, 25/9, the account is still open for access and viewing).
My bank has thankfully cancelled my card account in case of fraudulent attempts to access further funds.
So here we are – that’s off my chest and I have permanent record of this unfortunate, but educational experience. I am considering requesting my bank to action a claim against the organization, but it’s not a heap of money to put them out for.
My heart goes out to any other poor unfortunate person who may well be being fleeced for a lot more.
Addendum: Account no longer accessible on Grandefex webpage. (October 2nd)