On my trading platform(TCI-Investment), I've received a message from security, that I must pay an insurance fee of 25% cause they thinking I'm trading with insider information.

"Starting from the October 30 of the current financial year, all trading activities have been suspended on your account. You need to pay insurance in order to unlock your own account, have access to trading operations and withdrawal systems.

According to the rules of our trading platform, you must pay an insurance fee of 25% of the total balance in order to get access to trading operations and withdrawal systems. These fees cannot be deducted from your deposited funds as they are already frozen so we can only process your transfers.
This is a one-time bonus that is refundable. The insurance premium is withheld for 31 calendar days. After 31 days, the insurance amount will be available to you on your balance. The insurance payment should only be sent to the BTC wallet of your account. Please do not transfer money to addresses of third parties that are not provided by our terminal support. As soon as the payment of the insurance payment is successfully processed please send us a screenshot of the completed transaction with the amount and address of your TCI wallet as the recipient. Access to all functionality of the trading terminal will be returned in 24 hours."

Is this a scam or what?

  • 75
    Any time you're asked to pay money to get money you need to think really hard why that would not be a scam.
    – littleadv
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 19:26
  • 8
    Does this platform have a website? A lot of things come up on a search. It definitely appears to be a scam but it could be useful to understand how you end up here.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 20:57
  • 23
    "the BTC wallet". So we are not working on a standard trading platform. This is one of the crypto cowboys. Don't get me wrong, I love crypto and I made a lot of money in the 2017 run-up, but when I say "It's a wild west" I mean it like it sounds, with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unfortunately, this doesn't sound like "the good".
    – user26460
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 21:13
  • 21
    @user26460 the fact that OP can't recognize this as a typical "normal" scam means the BTC exchange may not even be real and OP might already be out ALL his money already...
    – Nelson
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 2:14
  • 13
    So other than the more logical hallmarks of a scam, no company that is genuinely interested in getting the customer to pay for something (because your continued business is how they earn money) will use the phrases "you need to pay" of "you must pay" (either that or someone in marketing needs to be fired). You would find subtler phrasing like "there is a surcharge" or indirectly referring to payments by referring to a payment notice, or ... just not a blatant "you need to pay". This kind of language is bullying in nature and intended to scare you into complying with their request.
    – Flater
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 5:09

5 Answers 5


Yes it is a scam. Any money you "invested" on this platform is gone.

Edit: Reasons why I believe this is a scam:

  • Insider trading is a crime. A legit platform would involve authorities and.
  • The insurance does not make sense at all
  • How would they suspect you of having access to insider information?
  • Why are they handling official payments through BTC?

That is why I believe, not only the insurance being fraudulent, but also the trading platform.

  • 40
    Agreed, and don't say "but I can see my balance is $X, which is more than I invested" - try to withdraw a single penny of that $X and I guarantee you won't be able to - not without paying additional upfront "fees" and "taxes" and goodness knows what else. They are milking you for every last bit they can before you realise it's a scam.
    – Vicky
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 12:12
  • 29
    @Vicky I'd note that some of these scams will let you withdraw small amounts early on, to build trust.
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 21:06
  • 9
    This is true, but you should probably include some more information on why this is a scam - otherwise it boils down to an answer of 'Yes".
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 13:42
  • 9
    @Zibbobz Giving money to an internet stranger is a scam unless proven otherwise. If you don't believe me, send me $200 to unlock the rest of this comment. Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 21:06
  • 5
    @user253751 I'm not saying that this answer is wrong, I am saying that it could be improved by adding some more information - such as the early warning signs that this person could have used to avoid this scam, or an explanation for how the scam works to more thoroughly explain why this person is not getting their money back.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 2:44

It is a scam because of several red flags:

  • They want you to pay more money to get access to your money.
  • They want their fee in crypto.
  • They want a screen capture as proof.
  • They want you to wait many days to get your money back.
  • 95
    * You can't get out of insider trading laws by paying an insurance fee.
    – stannius
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 19:17
  • 33
    @stannius Nor would the trading platform care even if you could. A trading platform doesn't bear liability for its users engaging in insider trading, I see no reason why they'd require users to be insured in such a way if it were even possible. None of it makes any sense at all. Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 19:43
  • 8
    * They (presumably) have enough of your money to cover a whatever fee they want, but they need more
    – svavil
    Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 20:03
  • 6
    @Ruslan Ishan Wahi was convicted of his part in insider trading of cryptocurrencies earlier this year. Perhaps what may be confusing to people is that there are specific laws against "insider trading" that don't apply to cryptocurrencies. But that doesn't matter. The crimes they actually charge you with have names like "wire fraud" and "conspiracy to defraud" but the mechanism of the fraud or object of the conspiracy is insider trading of cryptocurrencies. Commented Oct 30, 2023 at 22:47
  • 3
    @stannius And even if it somehow was possible to get legally insured against legal consequences of your own criminal activity, to the best of my knowledge no competent insurance company would grant retroactive insurance except for some very limited policies with some providers, and even then those are only retroactive if you recently had a previously started policy lapse, and the retroactivity is only to cover the lapsed period.
    – Nzall
    Commented Oct 31, 2023 at 12:17

There's no such thing as "insider trading insurance" (or whatever it is they're claiming you need to purchase). Insider trading is a felony subject to criminal penalties (potentially including substantial prison time), not an insurable event. If you really could get out of insider trading allegations just by buying insurance, people like Raj Rajaratnam presumably would have done so in order to avoid prison time.

It's not even clear what's being insured or how that sort of insurance is supposed to work. My car insurance pays for repairs if I get in a car accident. My health insurance pays my medical bills if I get sick. What does insider trading insurance do - serve the jail time for the person who buys it? Do they also offer bank robbery insurance for 25% of the amount you intend to steal?

Also, "one-time bonus" doesn't make any sense in this context - they clearly don't know what that term means. Dictionary.com defines a bonus as,

1.something given or paid over and above what is due.
2. a sum of money granted or given to an employee, a returned soldier, etc., in addition to regular pay, usually in appreciation for work done, length of service, accumulated favors, etc.

In other words, a bonus is something you receive over and above what you would normally receive, not something you pay over and above what you would normally owe. I think that they meant "one-time fee".

So yes, 100% a scam. If you pay the "insurance fee", they'll probably come up with some other fee that you need to pay before you can access your money.


Read up on "pig butchering" here or here The entire trading platform is likely fraudulent.

(Definition from one of those: "So named in reference to the practice of fattening a pig before slaughter, these scams often involve fraudsters contacting targets seemingly at random, then gaining trust before ultimately manipulating their targets into phony investments and disappearing with the funds.")

  • 1
    I'd say that it's more than likely - it's a near-certainty. I don't see any way that this is legitimate. Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 14:02
  • 15
    This answer can be improved by describing "pig butchering" in the financial context instead of pointing to Google. Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 17:00
  • 2
    Yeah, all I got was a bunch of farming websites ... jk, my first hit was from the state of Michigan Attorney General, which is weird, since I'm about 2000 miles away from MI. What I don't get is why this answer is criticized with 4 downvotes, but the top answer saying only "Yes, scam" has only 1 downvote. Surely this answer is more illuminating?
    – user26460
    Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 21:03
  • 6
    Just to save people googling (and perhaps hitting farming-related results), here's FINRA's take (as an addition to user26460's Michigan link): finra.org/investors/insights/pig-butchering-scams Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 9:36
  • 1
    The downvotes were probably because simply giving a key phrase or pointing to off-site resources is not considered a good Answer on Stack Exchange; an Answer should stand on its own, perhaps supported by off-site resources. I've done a minimal edit to improve this.
    – keshlam
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 2:45

tciinvestment.com is a known scammer. There are many reports of denied payouts. Best to get the cops involved.



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