Arbitly, the story of an almost perfect scam
Arbitly seems to be the latest crypto platform to have fooled numerous users. A perfect scam, or almost
The site presented itself as a cryptocurrency arbitrage platform. On the surface, it was complete, leaving no room for doubt as to its functionality. But something went wrong.
Since 4 January, Arbitly has blocked withdrawals (but not deposits and registrations!). Since 11 January, the site has been offline. Apparently it was supposed to do an update to include Crypto Bank review new cryptocurrencies. But then the site became unreachable. A hacker attack was suspected.
Suddenly, all the social channels disappeared: Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Medium and YouTube. Basically, Arbitly left no trace of itself. In the beginning, the support channels were actually still functioning and were responding to users. Since 10 January, however, the site’s support bot, when contacted, gave the following message:
„Man there is no news. Arbitrarily scammed. They ran away. It’s gone. Finished. No one is here“.
(There is no news. Arbitly it’s a scam. They have run away. Gone. The end. There is no one here).
Yet the platform seemed really well made. Many users told of their positive experience, investing money, taking advantage of the Bitcoin or Ethereum hype, and then managing to withdraw their funds. But others were deceived and are currently unable to withdraw their money.
How Arbitly worked and why it is the perfect scam
Arbitly started out as a cryptocurrency arbitrage trading platform. It allowed you to link multiple exchanges together and do arbitrage by investing an amount, and also guaranteeing returns. The site also came with at least a couple of pro plans. It also had a „welcome gift“, a week’s trial of the paid plans for free.
Arbitly can be regarded as a well-designed scam. On the platform there were not only social channels and support numbers, but also a team with faces and Linkedin profiles.
However, the first suspicions were aroused by the change of CEO announced in a press release on 23 December. Alexander Black, founder of the company, was replaced by Marco Fanger.
The photo attached to the press release shows him drinking from an Arbitly branded cup. It turned out too late that Marco Fanger does not exist. Or rather, he is an actor. An actor who, by the way, shortly before the site went offline, had made a video to reassure users. Just an update. But no. Among other things, comparing the man in the photo associated with the statement with the interpreter of the video, they look like two different people.
In addition, his image appeared on another site of arbitrage of cryptocurrencies, such aramco-trading, perfectly equal to Arbitly, but which has nothing to do with Saudi Aramco.
Sure, Arbitly was a platform where, according to reviews, it was possible to make big profits. But reading the chats of those who were scammed, it emerges that the money passed through wallets owned by the platform. And this must have been an early warning sign. Then there were the referral earnings, which must have raised doubts about a pyramid scheme. And indeed, many promoted Arbitly, with their referral links.
The other alarm bell should have come from reading the newspapers. Coindesk, for example, reported that the Maltese authorities had made it known that Arbitly, although based in Malta, had never obtained a licence. Arbitly replied that its Malta office was a ‚virtual‘ office and that it was in any case committed to complying with the laws in force.
Another warning sign: the site promised a zero-risk investment strategy. But those who trade know that risk is part of this world, it can be circumscribed but not zeroed out.
The story of Arbitly ends with someone running away with the loot, while thousands of users have lost funds, even tens of thousands of euros. Many of them are organising themselves to take legal action. The hope is that the perpetrators of this scam have left a trail. They may have used centralised exchanges, which make it easy to identify the account holders.