Bitcoin mining machines in China. Photo: www.zk71.com

Five investors have filed complaints to police over a suspected fraud involving bitcoin mining machines with each of them losing about HK$60,0000 (US$7,647).

The five claimed they were misled by speakers at an investment seminar in December last year when they were told that if they used the Bitcoin mining machine “Antminer S9,” which was promoted at the event, they could earn about HK$288 per day, the Apple Daily reported.

The Bitcoin mining machines sold for HK$30,000 each and buyers at the seminar were told they needed to purchase at least two. They said the speakers, renowned financial analyst Phemey Poon and the host of online investment channel Hilton Yuen, told investors they could break even in four months.

One of the buyers who called himself Pandora said staff from a company named Fifth Elements Ltd signed agreements with investors at the event, but company staff did not explain the details in the agreements.It was thought that about 50 people bought machines at the event.

Another buyer said she only received about HK$50 on her first mining day in February, then revenue dropped to a few dollars. So far, she only made HK$3,000 in total.

Phemey Poon explained that the agreements were futures contracts. As the value of Bitcoin dropped this year and various other Bitcoin mining machines were launched in the market, the number of Bitcoins investors could get decreased.

Poon said he was only a speaker at the seminar and had no connections with the mining machine company. He added that he also lost about HK$1 million as he had invested in 100 machines.

Hilton Yuen said they had talked about the difficulties and the high risks involved in investing in such schemes during the seminar. However, the Headline Daily reported that Yuen acted as an agent to help promote the machines.

Police said three women filed reports claiming fraud related to their Bitcoin investments after losing HK$250,000 in total. Police classed the cases as “requests for police investigation” and the crime unit of Yau Tsim Mong Police district is following up. No arrests have been made.