New Zealand Issues Warning About Three Cryptocurrency-Related Scams

  • New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority has added three “suspected scams” to their Warnings & Alerts list.
  • Cryptogain, Russ Horn, and Zend Trade are the companies in question that the government wants citizens to stay away from.

Earlier today, New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) added three new companies to its list of “suspected scams.” The three companies are Zend Trade, Cryptogain, and Russ Horn (also known as Forex Equinox). These three companies have been added to the New Zealand FMA’s “Warnings & Alerts” list. This list is an ongoing effort by the New Zealand government to help investors avoid putting their money into the hands of questionable people.

The three companies were labeled as “Suspected Scams,” which means: “We think the operations of the business/person bear the hallmarks of a scam. We strongly recommend that you do not deal with them.” The full list of warnings & alerts can be found here.

CryptoGain appears to be a scam similar to BitConnect, promising daily returns for their investors. On their website,, they offer up to 2.6% daily returns for people who invest in their company. Additionally, they offer cloud mining packages (with 30% weekly returns) and a retirement plan (giving “30% profit after retirement”). Such sky-high returns will set off alarms for many investors, as well as their cloud mining offering, which is currently considered an unregistered security in the United States.

In addition, the FMA has identified that CryptoGain is possibly posing as a fake company. There is a company filed as CryptoGainLimited, but it is not related to the company described above. Therefore, the FMA believes this is likely not legitimate.

The other companies - Russ Horn, Forex Equinox, and Zend Trade - are all suspected to be organized under Russ Horn’s leadership. and ForexEquinox are not scams in the sense that they will take your money - they seem to simply be exaggerated marketing pitches for Russ’ forex trading system.

His website offers a “free plus shipping” book. Although not a scam in the sense of failed project BitConnect, Russ Horn’s website does include some outlandish claims, including “How To Legally Cheat The Forex Markets And Literally Line Your Pockets With Cash.” claims that his system can “double your money every 30 days.”

Ongoing Suspicions

Zend Trade has been suspected of being a scam after it was found that Zend is not returning clients funds. Unlike ForexEquinox, which teaches people how to trade, ZendTrade offers “Managed Account Services.” This service means that ZendTrade will hold clients' money and trade for them, which could put them under regulatory scrutiny, since this service sounds much more like a hedge fund. FMA claims that this company is connected to Russ Horn.

Crypto Ransomware Group REvil Threatens to Auction Stolen Data Celebrity Law Firm

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto ransomware group REvil is threatening to auction stolen data belonging to clients from the celebrity law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks.
  • Bids for personal data belonging to Lebron James, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey are set to begin at $600k. 

The notorious crypto ransomware group REvil has threatened to auction stolen data containing information about Lebron James, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. 

According to a report by IBTimes, the hacker group REvil is preparing an auction for stolen data belonging to a number of celebrities and media companies. The group claims the data is over 1 TB in size and was taken from the law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, which represents a number of high-level celebrities and athletes. 

The ransomware group plans to begin the auction on July 1, with a starting bid of $600k for the data belonging to each individual celebrity. The report claims the hackers also intend to sell data belonging to Bad Boy Records, MTV and Universal, with starting bids for the latter as high as $1 million. 

REvil published a blog post announcing the auction and claiming buyers would be satisfied with the data obtained in the hack. 

The post reads, 

Show business is not concerts and love of fans only — also it is big money and social manipulation, mud lurking behind the scenes and sexual scandals, drugs and treachery.

According to the report, REvil is seeking payment from Grubman in exchange for the stolen data. A Grubman representative claimed the law firm was refusing to pay the ransom and had overwhelming support from its client base to not give in to the hacker’s demands. 

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