Spammers and other confidence tricksters will often go to great lengths to add plausibility to their fraudulent claims. In these days of easy fact checking by Google, this means posting fake reviews for your phony diet pills, or even setting up fake review web sites that say that while the product is not quite as good as advertised it really does work. However, one con artist has gone further than that and invented an entire imaginary TV show that gave his product an award.
The product is Ultimate4Trading, a binary options scam. Supposedly in binary options you are betting whether a particular financial instrument will go up or down in the next minute or two, and the scam involves magical systems that allow you to predict which direction the market is moving on a micro level. Of course, no such system exists, and if it did, the inventors would be using it themselves to get rich rather than sharing it with other people. However, that would not last long as the market makers in binary options would soon go out of business because of all the money they were losing.
In fact in binary options systems, you are not betting on the market, you are playing against the operator of the scam, and they control the results that you see. You are guaranteed to lose to them in the long run, even though you may make a paper profit at first to encourage you to raise the stakes. Binary options are not traded on any legitimate exchange or by any reputable broker.
The imaginary TV show is called Startup365. On a variety of pages such as www.start-up365 [dot] net and startup365 [dot] tv we see that Ultimate4Trading was awarded their product of the year award, and there is a convincing looking clip from the show that demonstrates the product. (NB startup365.fr is a genuine web site that has no connection with this scam.) The web site itself has a fair amount of background material, including biographies of the staff, and video summaries of several shows.
You’ll notice the show has a broadcast time (Tuesdays 7pm ET) but no mention of a channel. That’s because the TV show does not exist. Though the show claims to have been around since 2010, the domains were not registered until 2015.
The scammers have gone further than this though. There are answers in Quora and Crunchbase describing the fake show, and it even has a Facebook page with hundreds of likes (probably purchased) at https://www.facebook.com/Startup-365-1630944580503375/ . It’s only when you get down to the visitor posts in Facebook that hints of reality creep in: “SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM SCAM”