Organization Pitches Sketchy, High-Risk Cryptocurrencies Through Massive Newsletters

Recently, Motherboard called out far-right media outlet Breitbart for emailing its readers an ad instructing them to invest in sketchy, high-risk niche digital currencies that could easily lead to disaster. The ad states that the “cryptocurrency market is RED HOT” and that digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have surged recently, but that other cryptocurrencies will allow lightning-fast returns.

The email Breitbart sent its readers pitches cryptocurrencies such as AllSafe which “skyrocketed by 15,808% in a single day”, but doesn’t even have a working website and has a Twitter account dormant since June. Another cryptocurrency it uses is AMIS, which according to Cryptocompare saw no trades in the last 24 hours. It also points to November 15th, stating that some kind of cryptocurrency boom will occur by then, without even adding a source to the claim.

In November, the only significant event that’s currently planned is the SegWit2x hard fork, which is unlikely to cause a “cryptocurrency boom” on the advertised tokens that can be compared to penny stocks, which are usually considered highly speculative and high risk because of, among others, the lack of liquidity and limited following.

The ad, Motherboard notes, points readers to a page hosted by financial publication Agora Financialthat, according to MediaMatters, is known for “sketchy sponsored emails pitched through the mailing lists of media personalities”. The ad itself is signed by Robert Williams, a publisher on a website that links back to Agora Financial in its “premium research” links.

Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song told Motherboard in a phone interview that those gullible enough to fall for these email ads “kind of deserve it.” He stated: “If you’re gullible enough to fall for this, you kind of deserve it. If [its readers] think that this will get you rich, they’ve probably wasted their money on other stuff too”.

Sketchy Cryptocurrencies Advertised in the Past

Core Media’s own investigation found that Agora Financial, which boasts of having over 2.7 million email subscribers, has in the past sent similar emails to, at least, Portuguese and Brazilian investors. The emails were sent to those subscribed to Empericus, a company that claims to be the leading financial newsletter in Portugal, and also claims to be changing the investment culture in Brazil.

The email we found uses various cryptocurrency milestones as examples of how well an investment in crypto could go. It uses, for example, the Winklevoss Bros’ Gemini exchange partnership with the CBOE.

The ad, similar to Breitbarts’, mentioned AllSafe to potential investors, as well as cryptocurrencies such as Dimecoin, claiming that it surged by 720.6% in a single day. At press time, according to Cryptocompare, one DIME token is worth $0.00001000 USD, the cryptocurrency’s Twitter account has been inactive since 2014, and its website isn’t reachable.

Motherboard had previously reached out to Agora Financial, but didn’t get an answer. Core Media reached out as well but nobody from the organization was available for comment. The story will be updated if we hear back.

Investing in the cryptocurrencies Agora Financial praised to its email subscribers is extremely risky, so we, just like Jimmy Song, advise our readers not to do it. In the past, investors noted that Agora Financial doesn’t credit investors back after they’ve made a purchase, and exaggerate how much can be made through its systems