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Wednesday 1 July 2020

Is Mirror Trading International (MTI) A Scam?

The Egyptians would be so
With the extremely tough economy we find ourselves in, and the ever increasing number of retrenchments and pay cuts, many people are looking for other ways to generate an income. I honestly cannot blame them – loss of income (or even reduced income) doesn’t mean the bills follow suit.

Unfortunately for these people, their eagerness to try earn additional money makes them vulnerable to getting scammed. Something that has been doing the rounds lately is by a company called Mirror Trading International or MTI.

In this post I will be showing you a method which you can use to spot a scam/pyramid scheme, and then for a practical application, I will use it on Mirror Trading International to check if it is a scam or not.

Mirror Trading International (or MTI) is a company that claims to pool everyone's money and then, in their words, uses advanced digital software and artificial intelligence to trade the international Forex markets using Bitcoin as the base currency. Sho, lot's of buzzwords! The profits are then divided daily among the members who contributed.

Of course if their AI trading system was so good - why not just use it themselves and keep all the profits? 

Seems a little dubious already. But let's continue and check whether it is a scam or not?

We'll start start with some theory, and then we will use that theory to put MTI through it's paces.

How To Spot A Scam

Whenever I am checking if something is a scam/pyramid scheme, I run it through the following checklist. If a so called “investment” checks even one of these boxes, it is a big red flag. More than one and I am definitely out.
  • Claims returns will be greater than 12% a year
  • Quotes returns monthly
  • Claims the investment is "no risk"
  • Encourages you to get others to invest/join
  • Is offered by a company not registered with FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority)
Okay so let’s put Mirror Trading International through this checklist and see how they do in my Scam Exam

The Mirror Trading International (MTI) Scam Exam

(1) Claims returns will be greater than 12% a year 
(2) Quotes returns monthly 

Okay, we can tackle the first two at once with this screen grab I took from the MTI website.

They say they are doing 10% a month - that's roughly 214% per year! Ja sure... 

Those kind of returns mean a R2000 once off investment will turn into R185.4 Million in 10 years.

Or to put it another way, if I put R10k in, then in 20 years time I would have R42 Trillion Rand (that's more than 7 times the GDP of the whole of South Africa)...

Well at least they not promising the moon... 


(2) Claims the investment is "no risk" (1/2)

Okay, they only get half marks for this one because they don’t claim it is no risk directly.

But “your Bitcoin WILL be growing” is dubious at best.


Encourages you to get others to invest/join 

This is usually the biggest tell tale sign of all when it come to pyramid schemes/scams. Especially when there are extra “returns” for getting someone to join.

Hmmmm...Get two people under you, one on the left and one on the right...
Seems like they arranging it into a scheme that has a shape...
Triangular?... No, pyramid...

Man, if only we had a term for that...


Is offered by a company not registered with the FSCA ✔ 

I checked out the Mirror Trading International website pretty thoroughly, and couldn’t find anything about their registration with the FSCA. I also couldn’t find their name on the FSCA website.

MTI Is A Scam

Okay, time to tally up the marks...


Mirror Trading International (MTI) scores a solid 90%.

Passed with distinction! Stay away!
And always remember the number one rule - if something sounds too good to be true, it almost always is!

An Update - FSCA Statement On MTI

The Financial Services Conduct Authority of South Africa have released a statement on Mirror Trading International on 18 August 2020.

In short they found that:
  • Mirror Trading International requires license which they do not have
  • Of greater concern is the fact that the FSCA could not confirm that the MTI funds actually exist
  • MTI only partially co-operated with the FSCA
But perhaps the most telling of all - "We recommend that clients request refunds into their own accounts as soon as possible"

I don't think it will be much longer before it all comes crashing down...

You can find the full FSCA statement below.


* Update 09/07/2020 
Texas Securities Commissioner Travis J. Iles entered an emergency action to stop Mirror Trading International PTY LTD, a South African international, multilevel marketing get-rich-quick scheme. Full story here - https://www.ssb.texas.gov/news-publications/commissioner-shuts-down-fraudulent-international-multilevel-marketing-investment

* Update 03/08/2020 - More Red Flags
Thanks to one of the blog's readers for pointing out another MTI red flag

In all their marketing material, Mirror Trading International claims to use FX Choice as their broker. However FX Choice have made a statement saying that they have blocked MTI's account after they investigated the company and found them to be a "multi-level marketing pool" that "uses a very aggressive multi-level marketing campaign with high rewards to get new investors into the pool."

FX Choice also said that their claim of using Artificial Intelligence software to trade is inaccurate, and the last trades made by Mirror Trading International were large, manual and "incurred substantial losses" 

It seems their so-called digital software and artificial intelligence bot doesn't even exist...

You can read the statement from FX Choice here - FX Choice Public statement about Mirror Trading International

* Update 14/08/2020
Mirror Trading International stated that they had been using FxChoice to execute their Bitcoin trades in December 2019. They even supposedly sent video evidence of their bot performing the trades. But FXChoice can confirm that there were NO trades undertaken by the MTI account in December last year. 

It seems that videos were doctored - the trades were done on a demo account and the video was then edited to have the word "LIVE" inserted to make it seem as if they were live trades.

Here are some comments by FXChoice on a YouTube video by someone who claims to have seen "video evidence" of the MTI trades (click for a larger image)

Till next time, Stay Stealthy!
 - ~ - ~

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