A Case of Fraud - GTStox and Global PayBack Ltd

From our special correspondent: This report is from a victim of a scammer broker who then went on to

From our special correspondent:

This report is from a victim of a scammer broker who then went on to be defrauded further by a 'recovery' company, so please do be aware that these cases are real and devastating to the victims.

  1. The story on the crypto scammer GTStox:

I became a victim of a financial trade scam (whether by a brokerage company or through its associate broker) and needed help with recovery of my lost funds.

In the month of October, I read a magazine article placed in the Slovak Republic, advertising a way of better capitalizing money sitting in the bank through a robot driven investment strategy on the financial markets. The article led me to the broker site  GTStox (https://www.gtstox.com/) which at first glance looked trustworthy. Having entered my contact data (but failed to take a screenshot at that time) and submitted the request, I got a call from an agent in London, UK telling me that he would be my account manager ongoing. Later on he explained the type of broker trading they offered is much better than robotic driven trading since the profits could be much higher. The initial investment, through credit card, was €250 on November 5, 2020 (I have the evidence on my bank statement) and the testing period was a week. If I was satisfied with my earnings, I could then raise my investment through wire transfer for an additional testing period of a further month. Then I would continue or withdraw all the funds deposited. He, besides giving assurances that we would be in contact the whole time and that I was going to have immediate access to either profits or the full amount deposited. He also said he would show me the withdrawal procedure as well. With that assurance and others, I agreed to his terms, and wire transferred (evidence from bank statement and transfers trace through Exodus, Coinbase, GTStox) an additional €5000 for the second testing period of another month and for his phone guidance. After a week of daily phone contacts and WhatsUp communications (evidence screenshots of WhatsUp chats, phone number, his photo - whether fake or not, who knows) and explanations, training, etc. suddenly without showing me how to withdraw the funds he just suddenly disappeared.

As I could not track him down, I contacted the Live support at the GTStox website, but this was in vain. Since then I have had no contact or email whatsoever with the trading company, neither a replacement account manager, nor with the former account manager - everything has gone dead through any of the communication channels. I can however log into their site freely, and check out the events. As I could still log in I took the initiative and experimented with the withdrawal procedure on the GTStox site, and on November 30, 2020 requested a withdrawal of as much as possible of my funds. Since then the withdrawal is still pending, and no one contacted me in the matter. So, again I contacted the Live chat explaining that I requested withdrawal of my funds, and wanted an update, but again no contact. I still have received no kind of answer from the company (screenshot evidence on the communication). Interestingly, the trade with my funds is still ongoing and seems to be growing, however if it is a fake history I cannot tell.

The mobile calls were coming from London, UK, but were computer generated and were never the same, a few of them are in the mobile log and identified, but others were impossible to track as they changed.

Since then I have found several similar ads to the one that I was originally persuaded by, and I think they are placed in the CEE countries where the IP protection of browsers is weak, there is low awareness, low incomes, weak police force against cyber crime and also weak institutional base combating cyber crime.

  1. The Story of the scavenger on the fallen (Scammer on scammers)

I had realised by now that I was being scammed by a crypto scammer (by the end of November 2020) and having all the fresh traces to their licence number, off-shore address from Panama papers, everything fresh and live (see images) so with all that info, I decided to search for a recovery company with the hope they really existed.

I looked through fake and non-fake ads, websites such as TRUSTPILOT and similar fake or non-fake reviews. I though that perhaps if somebody was defrauded and wanted to get help to recover what they lost quickly, these companies might actually be real. So I chose one of those "trustworthy companies" Global PayBack Ltd at the very beginning of December last year. They asked for 800€ upfront for services, then sent me a consulting contract. I immediately protested against one paragraph (I have the contract,  and communication with it) that if the company did not succeed with recovery or anything else I do not get any reimbursement. But I felt that I was under serious time pressure and fresh leads to the scammer that might dry up, and that pushed me to accept the terms, with the assurance in the phone by the pusher named Benjamin STEIN that "do not worry you are in a good hands, we are a successful company and Brian (ROSE) he is a super associate he is able to handle everything." Moreover, Benjamin STEIN proposed (since he knew at that time that my investment damages of 5250€ in BTC were worth much more) that if I raised my upfront to 2000€ I would see much more recovery and that would partially come around Christmas time. These were all lies of course, misleading information being sold by the pusher associated with Global PayBack Ltd and their heartless procedures. I got scammed because I wanted a quick solution to my pain (unfortunately for these mobile phone based conversations I do not have recordings). By the end of  December I become suspicious as nothing had happened. Another month went by and I really got suspicious by the end of January 2021 as I was not even contacted, no work plan from them, no ideas, no quick recovery.

Then I think I emailed them later and they gave me some explanation or other and I received a kind of a dispute letter in English (a 15 minutes job even for me) to request chargeback that I had to forward to my banks that initiated the payments. It was tedious work for me since in Slovak Republic banks are internationally owned but their staff is local with an inherited attitude from socialism. The banks basically do not have client support lines on their sites visibly (one can call and then explain), they do not have chargeback procedures and they do not want to do that, too (I presume because of the staff attitude, it seems this is not part of the obligation of their banking procedures).

So those things I had to work out for them took me two weeks of time, then I read the contract properly that they shall not legally represent me but offer consulting on the level of coaching. Of course, as as i mentioned the banks did not care if they recovered anything or not. Basically, I had to send reminders to the banks to check on the case outcome. So, this first consulting service on recovery ended up with nil recovery. Even more shocking finding was that supposedly reliable Brian did not know that in Slovak Republic there is no banking ombudsman, in reality the National Bank stands for/as such. But with the same attitude as the banks and with no real help. So when I clarified these facts to him and knowing that one of my banks belongs to the Group of Commerzbank Germany, I told him to ask that or the German Ombudsman. His reaction was when the devil sees a crucifix. From the above pics on the Global PayBack can be noticed that the mother company Rozenti is registered in Berlin, but having been born in a CEE country, I bet in East Berlin, since they would not have got registration for an untrustworthy company in the Western part of Germany where Commerzbank has a seat. Again, I had to send my story, clarifications, and description of the unhelpful results from my bank-mBank to a Polish Consumer Protection Agency (I know from my experience in Slovakia that they are not helpful and do not acknowledge any submission, moreover they do not have the legal power to oversee banking institutions, as such) and then after having waited a long period for a response, I asked GlobalPayBack what was the next step, they suggested to wait additional two weeks.

Being a bit alert, at the time of submitting my request to the Polish Agency, I asked GlobalPayBack to please reveal to me their future plans on recovery if this Polish Agency went bust. They did not reveal anything as it would break confidentiality, telling me that they were working on the next steps of the recovery. By this time I had been waiting for the Polish agency to  respond for almost two months, and I had a bad feeling I had been scammed yet again. Two weeks ago whilst having these bad feelings about the whole procedure, I wrote to the the Slovak Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Israeli Embassy to Slovakia to help find institutions, police, whoever can influence them towards a reimbursement, revocation of license and persecution for fraudulent behaviour (of course, I have whole mail communications, as well as, call recordings to prove all the above.)

Basically I found out how stupid I was signing that contract hastily, under pressure (but this is the fund recovery companies standard modus operandi, making vulnerable people sign money away) and with a possibility of increasing losses by topping the earlier loss with another 2000€. I got myself in a trap with no out situation and with all that their services at maximum they could have recovered only my basic loss without damages that I could have done myself asking the same institutions.

The basic problem is that the broker (GTStox) is registered to a mother company, CRABEC HOLDINGS Ltd running a trading platform GTStox which just a trading name, but if you check their site, everything looks reasonable enough. They show the mother company details for their registration and whether that entitles them to perform this activity, I don’t know. A normal person using the internet, of course, wouldn’t be likely to notice the difference. I do not know if such a trading platform or service platform needs to be registered in my own country to have authority. But the trading platforms for crypto and others apparently operate in CEE countries through false ads, since in these countries there is no financial authority really overseeing these activities and the police force does work only on paper to combat cyber crime, there is not even a site to report these activities in Slovakia as in the UK. So, please find the translation for CFD and BTC trading Scammer CFD, Scammer BTC, which I was entrapped by.

As for the GTStox I do not possess a contract, but even the legitimate platforms, such as Coinbase, Bitpanda, Localbitcoin, Bitstamp do not ask you to sign a contract. You do, however, have to prove that you are a reliable person to deal with and identify yourself with driving licenses & passports etc.

These are possibly the details of who I was dealt with by the scammer brokers - Bernardo Pereira

 

When we try his number it just says it is switched off.

 

 

As to the bank transfer of 5250€. It was done by a MasterCard payment from OTP Bank-250€, and wire transfer from my Bank 5000€, as can be seen in the file Payment transfer.

When I asked my Bank for a chargeback procedure to be undertaken, they were not helpful at all. And finally I did not get any details on the process of chargeback, they just simply stated that the money was transferred to an Estonian bank, that's all.

Since the transfers were done hastily mainly the 5000€ I cannot even remember, how it was proceeded from the Estonian bank, but I know I had to create an Exodus wallet.

I guess from there it was transferred to Coinbase where it was change to BTC (to make it untraceable?) and the transferred maybe to GTStox account where then it again appeared as Euro. All the transaction details are screenshot in the above file, if some are missing then just let me know as it is no problem to find them. Why can’t I properly remember the steps of transfer? Well I was instructed to allow TeamViewer access to my PC, and the agent basically did the transfer and I assisted with the registration to those aforementioned sites. I hope someone can track down the route of my deposits.

In addition, I attached screenshots of trading details of GTStox, whether real or just a false interface I don't know, the trading as shown is by me.

I added, as per your request, the phone numbers and remarks to the screenshots. The numbers with London prefixes (+44) certainly were the agents computer generated numbers, but then later I am not so sure since the agent was calling me. Perhaps the numbers with prefixes +49 belonged to them, but I am not sure. I do know that even by December and the following months, the new agent was pursuing me after "having lost all my funds in trade" explaining that I should make further deposits (I still have those numbers on my phone, too).

Moreover, since that activity with GTStox, I have had an enormous number of identifiable phone calls from Western Europe and also from Slovakia (with regional prefixes non-existent in Slovakia).

When I realized, late November that the agent is gone and not responding, nobody replies to anything, I tried to file a withdrawal quickly but it was in vein, since there was no answer to my call, these mails, chats, requests, etc. you will find in the attachment of Agent, chats withdrawal attempt.

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