With the rise of cryptocurrencies and hoards of users investing in these coins across the globe, new online trading platforms are appearing every day. But not all of them are to be trusted.
The cybercrime specialists at IFW Global have gathered significant intelligence to believe that the Chinese cryptocurrency trading platform known as Yuan Pay Group is a scam. Supposedly founded by the fictitious Li Fang, Yuan Pay Group advertises itself as a brokerage dealing in an exclusive cryptocurrency called the E-Yuan. It also claims to be the largest sales and exchange management provider in China, and that the E-Yuan is backed by the Chinese Central Bank. Although it was reported in March 2020 that the Bank of China had developed certain capabilities pertaining to its new digital currency, they never officially implemented the E-Yuan.
Below, we explain how the Yuan Pay Group scam targets its victims, evidence of its illegitimacy and what you need to do if you have invested money in a fraudulent cryptocurrency platform.
How the Yuan Pay Group scam works
Despite its misleading claims, Yuan Pay Group has nothing to do with legitimate algorithm trading or cryptocurrency exchange.
Click on any of the supposedly ‘official’ Yuan Pay websites and you’ll see it focuses on driving registrations and app downloads (yet fails to include any verified trust symbols). To get started on the app after signing up, you will need to make a deposit of €/$/£250 via a credit card payment, bank transfer or digital wallet. Regardless of the payment method used, this money will be pocketed by an unlicensed offshore CFD broker.
To make matters worse, you cannot control your risk by setting the amount of money you are willing to invest. The broker will continue to accept trades. Once each trade is made, the ‘profit’ can be seen in your virtual wallet – where it will firmly stay. While this fraudulent platform states a withdrawal fee of €/$/£50, any efforts to take your money out will prove unsuccessful.
Despite what some review websites have been claiming, Yuan Pay Group is far from a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange platform. Rather, it is just another “get rich quick” scheme, a ruthless scam that promises to make you wealthy over a too-good-to-be-true time frame in a ploy to steal your hard-earned money.
Let’s break down the evidence.
Evidence that the Yuan Pay Group is a scam
No regulatory licences
Yan Pay Group has no regulatory license and therefore is not legally permitted to buy or sell contracts for clients, offer support services to Forex traders or handle investment portfolios.
For instance, it has not been granted ISO 27001 or ISO 50001. These certifications confirm that the software has been approved under the Information Security Management System screening process, which includes the assessment of:
- Data privacy and confidentiality
- Safety procedures pertaining to financial documentation on hosting servers
Yuan Pay Group also failed a PCI compliance test, which examines firewall configurations relating to sensitive cardholder information, encryption protocols and data storage.
Several ‘’official’’ websites
There are multiple Yuan Pay Group websites, all of which claim to be the “official’’ Yuan Pay Group website. See a few examples for yourself below:
Why the duplication? There are numerous affiliate networks competing for search engine exposure, website users and, ultimately, victims.
Scam warnings from previous victims and no onsite testimonials
A quick Google search will generate some Yuan Pay Group article reviews singing its praise, but it’s a different story on forums such as TrustPilot and Reddit.
Here, you’ll discover a plethora of cautionary comments left by victims – as well as some dubious ‘positive’ reviews such as the one below:
What’s more, there is an unusual absence of testimonials on every Yuan Pay Group website we investigated.
False celebrity endorsements
Investigators have uncovered fake news articles featuring images of Chinese billionaires accompanied by terms such as “digital Yuan” and “Chinese digital currency”. This content has been misused to make it appear as though celebrities are endorsing Yuan Pay Group when in fact there is no solid proof to confirm their support.
As well as access to large databases of personal information, these criminals have the technical expertise to bypass email spam filters.
They are currently sending out junk emails packed with affiliate links that lead you to fake Yuan Pay Group websites. Please avoid opening any of these emails, which can carry viruses, malware and spyware.
Zero customer support
If you try to get in touch with Yuan Pay Group customer service, you’ll soon find that your efforts are futile – even when you enquire through the website’s contact form.
Withdrawal is practically impossible
While making a deposit via the broker software is quick and simple with plenty of supportive messaging, any attempt to withdraw money is relentlessly blocked with deferrals and distractions.
Next steps for victims of the Yan Pay Group scam
If you have been targeted by the Yan Pay Group scam, it’s important to follow the below steps immediately:
- Do not invest any more money.
- Report your fraud via the Australian Cyber Security Centre fraud reporting portal as soon as possible.
- Submit an investment fraud enquiry to IFW Global to discover what we can do to recover your assets.
Working with legal experts who specialise in cross-border fraud and asset recovery in foreign jurisdictions, IFW Global utilises advanced surveillance and investigation methods to combat cybercrime and track down victims’ money. Learn more about our cryptocurrency scam investigation services today.