Minvestment.com / Fraud
Proof Minvestment.com is a Fraud
1. From the website:
Minvestment.com is a private investment company. We have been in business since 2000 and have been delivering our services online through Minvestment.com.
Note: no mention of any other domain - just Minvestment.com
2. From the current whois entry:
Domain Name... minvestment.com
Creation Date... 2000-01-03
Registration Date... 2007-01-15
Expiry Date... 2017-01-03
Organisation Name... DELTEN HOLDINGS INC
Organisation Address. P.O. Box 3321, Drake Chambers
Organisation Address. Road Town
Organisation Address. Tortola
Organisation Address. Tortola
Organisation Address. BVI
Organisation Address. VIRGIN ISLANDS (BRITISH)
Note that the domain minvestment.com has a Creation Date of 2000-01-03. However, the Registration Date is 2007-01-15.
3. From Alexa, we see there was no traffic before May 2007:
4. From http://www.minvestment.com/news.php
March 10, 2007
We proudly serve over 15, 000 customers
In the last ten days we have detected a 7% increase in our clientele. Today, we have proudly registered the 15000th active investor with us. These numbers are a clear indication of the growing popularity of our company. The positive response we have received from our clients makes us even more proud to provide them with the most reliable service available.
Note how this doesn't make any sense looking at the Alexa graph...
...not proof yet but certainly suspicious.
5. From http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.minvestment.com we see some entries from 2003 and 2004 that divert to a website called hacker.co.uk.
Still not proof, but this drove me to further investigation of the minvestment.com domain.
It took a while, but eventually I established how to obtain historic whois records...
6. From http://domain-history.domaintools.co...m&page=results we see that the domaintools website has cached whois records from 2005, 2006 and 2007.
To view the details it is necessary to create an account on domaintools.com, then upgrade it to gold or silver level. Note that they have a free ten day trial for gold membership - you do have to type in a credit card number but if you cancel it within ten days they don't charge you. Domaintools.com is ranked in the top 1000 websites worldwide by Alex - I decided to trust them with my credit card details...
7. After registering I managed to get contact details of the person who owned the minvestment.com domain until the current owners bought it towards the end of 2006. He is a private individual in the UK, not a company, so I won't list his details here, but if you take the steps I did you can see for yourselves.
The whois entry from 2006-10-10 contains a mobile telephone number for the individual concerned. I called him, confirmed his name, and asked him if he used to own the minvestment.com domain. He confirmed that he did. Here is a summary of what I learnt:
* He registered minvestment.com in 2000
* He also owned hacker.co.uk and had minvestment.com diverted to it for a while (note the hacker.co.uk domain has nothing to do with hacking as the web archive can confirm)
* In 2006 he decided to try selling it as he wasn't using it and received an offer through sedo.co.uk
* The deal went through towards the end of 2006 - certainly after 2006-10-10 when the whois record still showed it in this private individuals name
* He didn't know who had bought it and sounded genuinely surprised and concerned to learn that it was being used for an online investment business, especially as it claims to have been in business since 2000
Note that the other whois records complete the story of the domain being transferred to an intermediary on 2006-10-25, before being finally registered by the current owners in 2007-01-15.
Finally, to really put the last nail in the coffin...
8. From http://www.minvestment.com/news.php
September 28, 2006
Powerful DDoS attack repelled
You may have experienced some difficulties accessing our website today. This was due to a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack on our website which caused the brief downtime period. Our technical support stuff has promptly repelled the attack. In addition, we are currently in the process of working on a professional, cutting-edge anti-DDoS solution which will be introduced soon.
The current owners did not buy the domain until after September 2006. On September 28 it was privately held - there were no members to experience difficulties - there was no DDoS attack.
I think the above speaks for itself. I will leave you to consider all the various possibilities, but there is no logical explanation that doesn't involve MI being a fraud. For the record I believe the man I spoke to was entirely innocent, and I tend to be a good judge of character.
I expect the scammers behind this program were attracted to the domain partly because it was first created in 2000, and decided to make this a marketing point, faking up a load of history like the DDoS attack above, and putting it on their new website to try to bolster their claim to have been in business "since 2000".
Note - if you do go though all the steps above, please bear in mind that the private individual is in the UK before calling him - that said, it is New Year's Eve so I expect he'll be up for an hour or so yet if you do.
Summary - MI have lied on their website about their history, trying to give the impression that they have been trading longer than they really have to boost confidence. This is fraud - a crime in any civilised country.
MI may still be paying at the moment, but it is clearly run by some highly organised crooks. Do you really want to trust such people with your money? Also note that I will be ensuring that this evidence is passed to relevant authorities...
I wouldn't count on MI being around much longer.