The client writes: “Hello. I recently invested in Bitcoin with the help of a friend. The trading platform is called Parvesta. After I made a decent profit I requested a withdrawl of all my assets. It never arrived to my crypto wallet. Hence, I contacted the customer service and was told that I have to pay 10% of the profits to access the funds. When I submitted that amount I was told I needed to add 9% of profits to pay capital gains tax or all the funds will be frozen. I haven’t paid it. This is a scam right ?”
Yes, unfortunately this is a scam. In this case the client has lost Bitcoin, but this scam works for any type of crypto. I chatted with the client some more. Here’s how the scam works
- You purchase some crypto from a reputable exchange. In this case the customer bought USDT (Tether) from crypto.com.
- You are directed to the scammers website (parvestadp.com) and asked to download the Parvesta App to your phone.
- You move your crypto into the Parvesta App and start earning rewards etc.
- You watch as your balance grows and you become richer. Everything appears to be working fine until you attempt to withdraw your crypto. It’s at this point that alarm bells start ringing.
This is actually two scams. The first scam is the Parvesta App, the second is when you attempt to withdraw your crypto.
The point where the client lost control of their funds was when they transferred them from a wallet they controlled (in this case their crypto.com wallet) and into the Parvesta App wallet which they didn’t control. Because transactions on the blockchain are irreversible, once the transfer from wallet to wallet is confirmed the client’s money is gone for good.
Red Flags and What To Look For
First of all a huge red flag is that you are required to download the Parvesta App from the parvesta web site. A quick check of both the official Apple App Store and Google Play sites shows that the Parvesta App is not listed. There is a reason for this: Apps are only listed on these two sites if they pass rigourous security checks that scan the Apps for malware / viruses / scamware etc. The Parvesta App is obviously a scam and that’s why you can’t find it on the Google or Apple App stores.
The second red flag is not being able to withdraw your crypto from the Parvesta app. This is the point the first scam ends because the scammers are now aware that (1) you want to withdraw your crypto and (2) you are most probably not going to be depositing any more until you have withdrawn some. This is where the second scam starts.
They will tell you that your crypto is “locked” or “frozen” or that you need to pay tax in order to release it. All this is nonsense. They are just trying to get more money out of you. Bitcoin can not be frozen or locked or made “dormant”, you can access it freely anytime you want. The tax issue is also completely fictitious.
But I can see my balance in the App !?
Yes you can, but it’s fake. The scammers will program the App to reflect your balance accurately and you’ll appear to start earning interest etc. It’ll all look very real and nothing will appear out of the ordinary. You’ll only discover it’s a scam when you try and withdraw your crypto.
What has actually happened is that once your crypto is in the Parvesta wallet it’ll be moved out straight away and into the scammer’s wallet. Your account balance will not reflect this – instead you’ll have the appearance that your crypto is safe, healthy and growing, but it isn’t, you lost it as soon as you transferred it to Parvesta.
Crypto Scams are Common
Unfortunately every week I speak to people who have been scammed. I’ve documented many of the cases on this page – https://recovermycryptowallet.com/cryptocurrency-scams-in-2022/
If you suspect you’ve been scammed please get in touch, I should be able to confirm it for you.