Last week a company that supposedly builds and sells mining devices had been exposed by the cryptocurrency publication the Merkle. The news outlet revealed evidence of shady activity stemming from the California-based company Foxminers.
A Mining Manufacturer No One’s Ever Heard of Supposedly Creates Revolutionary Mining Devices
Over the past few weeks, an alleged mining manufacturing company called Foxminers LLC has been issuing press releases to news outlets claiming to offer top of the line mining hardware. Foxminers claims to provide a miner with proprietary chips they created that can mine both Bitcoin’s algorithm as well as litecoin’s scrypt. However, with a little digging a lot of red flags pop up with this company, and just recently the Merkle publication ran two exposes on the websites sketchy behavior.
On April 22 the reporter JP Buntinx from the Merkle wrote an article called “Cryptocurrency Mining Scam Warning — Foxminers.” In the editorial Buntinx details how no one has ever heard of this new company that allegedly sells dual-mining hardware. Furthermore, the Merkle author explains how the company’s proprietary mining chip called the FM9800-XD1112 supposedly offers technology and performance like no other. Still, no one has heard of this chip, but the firm does offer a spec sheet on the product and Vimeo video of a miner “in action.”
Foxminer photographs show similarities with Zeus miners. Photo courtesy of the Merkle.
Unfortunately for the company, according to a scam warning on the forum Bitcointalk.org users have found issues with Foxminers claims. For instance, the spec sheet provided for the FM9800-XD1112 is nearly identical to another mining chip called SFARAD explains a skeptic on the forum. The two specs were also compared on the website Draftable for a side by side comparison revealing lots of similarities. The Bitcointalk member writes:
Frankly, the clincher of this being a fraud should be that their spec sheet is a near exact copy of SFARAD’s — The only differences is the cover art, the chip name, and what they claim specs are. Oh, and the copyright notice. They erased SFARAD’s and put in one for them.
Foxminers Threatens Crypto-based Publication With Litigation
Following the article published by the Merkle, the publication was contacted by representatives of Foxminers. Two days after the warning editorial an email was sent to the Merkle Editor-in-chief, Mark Arguinbaev asking him to remove the article written by JP Buntinx. The email titled “Defamatory content removal request” was allegedly sent by a law firm representing Foxminers called Sack Rosendin LLP. However, after some investigation, Arguinbaev discovered the email was impersonating Sack Rosendin, as the real lawyer disclosed to him that he never sent any emails or heard of Foxminers.
Foxminers sends this Cease and Desist letter to the Merkle publication.
Eerily Similar to UFOminers and Minerslab
Additionally, skeptics on the Bitcointalk.org thread had called the contact number on the website which revealed an answering machine message. However, instead of it saying Foxminers, the message said “UFOminers” showing a connection to another so called mining device manufacturer.
UFOminers also has a lot of scam warnings on Bitcointalk.org, and other crypto-based publications have exposed them as well. Moreover the company UFOminers was found to have a connection to another mining device manufacturer called Minerslab. All three websites Foxminers, UFOminers, and Minerslab have very similar websites offering mining device sales. Each website claims to take a bank transfer, but all three of them do not allow this method when nearing the end of the checkout process.
Bitcoin.com did call the Foxminer’s phone number twice, and no one answered. There was no answering machine message as well. All three companies have forum posts written about them on Bitcointalk.org accusing the mining device websites of being scams.
Merkle Editor-in-chief: ‘UFOminers and Foxminers are 100% Operated by the Same Person’
We decided to reach out to the Merkle editor Mark Arguinbaev to get his view of the situation. Arguinbaev says JP Buntinx was the first to discover the company because they appeared on press release sections at Cointelegraph and other crypto-based publications. Buntinx then did some careful investigation work which revealed forum topics calling the company a scam and some very sketchy business behavior was described.
“The defamation threat began two days after the first article was published,” explains Arguinbaev. “It came at around Saturday at 7 PM which is a very unusual hour for a “lawyer” to contact someone. UFOminers and Foxminers are 100% operated by the same person. I believe Minerslab is also associated as I remember seeing a transaction on a wallet explorer from them.”
Arguinbaev also says that a few months ago a guy claiming to be from Nigeria asked him to remove a scam accusation article from the Merkle website. The man offered him money and Arguinbaev refused his requests. “After I had refused he tried bribing me by telling me he makes millions of these scams and will just start another one,” explains the Merkle editor. “The thing is this guy’s English, and the way the Foxminers representatives write are very similar broken English. So I have reason to believe these are the same people,” Arguinbaev adds.
Stay Informed and Beware of Fraudulent Activities
Two weeks ago Bitcoin.com was also contacted about running a press release from the Foxminers company. The company was asked to provide more proof of the mining devices. Foxminers replied back to our offices with its video and PDF specs, which we found insufficient and Bitcoin.com refused the company’s requests.
We want our readers to be informed of the possibility of fraudulent activity and to use due diligence when purchasing with any business offering products that seem too good to be true.
What do you think about the accusations against Foxminers? Do you think the company is legitimate? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via the above-described company’s websites, Shutterstock, Pixabay, and the Merkle.
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