|Platform||Instagram, Email, WhatsApp|
|First Reported||Sep 1, 2019|
|Scammer Name/ID||"Jessica Donnell", "Shannod Martins", "Margaret Marina Kalugin", "Wayne Anthony Jackson", "Pamela Wisdom", "Catherine Breamm", "Lisa Mary", "Francesca Wilson", "Nigel Cayman"|
|No. of Reports Received||11|
How the Scam Works
The scammers operate mostly on Instagram, but also use other social media platforms and email to communicate with potential victims. They use Instagram account names such as:
- Barb Watson
- Catherine Breamm
- Catherine Kosarin
- Diana Russell
- George Joff
- Grace Halfas
- Jessica Donnell
- Jocelyn Bassent
- Jovi Rodrigo
- Kim White
- Linda Thomas
- Linda Lane
- Lisa Clinton
- Lisa Mary
- Margaret Marina Kalugin
- Nigel Cayman
- Pamela Wisdom
- Sarah Jason
- Shannod Martins
- Susan Williams
- Terry Junior
In most occurrence, the scammer accounts have a profile picture of a woman and include “Blockstream.com” in their profile, though not always.
They offer an opportunity to invest in a Bitcoin mining operation with a BTC “deposit” with BTC “profits” delivered after 24 hours. For that purpose, the scammers often ask their potential victim to open a wallet and share the private key to allow the scammers to “connect” said wallet to their mining hardware. Commonly, they will use fake ID cards as a confidence trick. However, the ID cards are complete fakes.
The scammers may also share a phone number to provide their potential victim a false sense of security. However, the phone numbers do not belong to Blockstream, and the scammers will not be reachable via phone call.
If a user does send funds to the scammers, they often ask for a second (higher) payment guaranteeing higher “profits” that will be paid out together with the “profits” from the user’s first “deposit”.
The scheme sounds enticing, but, of course, the “deposits” are never returned.
The Real Blockstream Mining
Blockstream Mining provides colocation services for Bitcoin mining equipment to enterprise customers.
The Blockstream Mining team does not communicate with potential clients over social media or chat messenger apps. Representatives of Blockstream will never guarantee investment returns and will never ask for a BTC deposit.
Typically, official contact with clients is handled through email using @blockstream.com email addresses only. If you are interested in learning more about Blockstream Mining, contact our sales team via the contact form on our official site.
How to Report the Scam
Be sure to check the social media accounts and email addresses you are in communication with. To reiterate, Blockstream only accepts inbound interest from the contact form on our website. We do not communicate about mining over social media to individuals.
If you have encountered the scam described above, also be sure to send us details on your Report a Scam form. Unfortunately, we are not able to help you with resolving any disputes or recovering any funds, but your report will help us identify high-risk scams, alert the community, and report them to the relevant authorities.
We would also recommend that you take these additional measures:
- Submit an international scam report to econsumer.gov, an initiative of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN).
- Instagram: Report the scam though either the Instagram app or their online form.
- Facebook: Report the accounts involved using this method.
- WhatsApp: Tap on the scammer’s name or phone number at the top of the chat, then scroll down and tap Report Contact.
Fake Contact Information Used
These are some of the contacts that the impersonators have used to reach out to clients. These are all fake, and do not connect you with anyone from Blockstream. We advise you not to communicate with anyone reaching out to you using these numbers and email addresses.
Fake email addresses:
Fake phone numbers:
- +1 (201) 528-3486
- +1 (949) 674-3930