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Crypto And Romance Scams Continue To Cost Victims Billions ABC11 Raleigh-Durham

Evans used his First Direct account to pay in to the site, and from there the fraudster showed him how to move his money to a trading platform where he could supposedly invest it. Scammers often promise you’ll make money quickly, or that you’ll get big payouts or guaranteed returns. They might offer you free money paid in cash or cryptocurrency — but, even if there’s a celebrity endorsement, don’t buy it. You’ll make money if you’re lucky enough to sell your crypto for more than you paid.

James Evans lost £20,000 in a cryptocurrency scam starting on Grindr and using Binance. Anyone who says you have to pay by cryptocurrency, wire transfer, or gift card is a scammer. If you pay, there’s usually no way to get your money back. Stick to known crypto exchange markets — such as Coinbase, and Cash App — to avoid an unfamiliar exchange.

Until then, it will be up to HER app to catch – and hopefully prosecute – those behind this new breed of con artist. Until authorities can confidently stop those behind the billion-dollar blockchain ‘rip-deal gangs’, their masterful scams may continue to enslave more innocent victims. Other victims have taken to a Telegram group to share information, while some of the so-called victims in the group have been quickly suspected of fraud themselves. One of the most famous victims so far is Ahad Shams of Webaverse, who was scammed out of $4 million earlier this month after meeting a fraudster in person in Rome. From there, they see returns, but when they try to make a withdrawal, they’re required to pay more.

Want you to invest, promising returns, for example, of $10000 on a $1500 investment in 12 days. I have no idea how many people get scammed this way but I get several such dms every week and I’ve 28k followers on that platform. Sadly, we’ve needed to write and warn about romance scams and romance scammers many times in recent years. Online scams continue to soar costing victims thousands of dollars.

After losing her mom, 24-year-old Nicole Hutchinson inherited her mother’s house which she sold and split the proceeds with her father. The $280,000 she inherited was supposed to go toward helping her family and building a life in California. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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In many cases, scammers appeared to be posing as rich and attractive young men – in an attempt to dupe younger women into signing up for “bogus” crypto “investment training” sessions. Some also look to trick victims into buying “crypto mining packages” that offer “guaranteed” monthly earnings. A number of such schemes – in Japan, elsewhere in East Asia, and further afield, have been exposed as rug-pulls or more basic scams.


By acting flirty and interested, scammers can gain unsuspecting people’s trust. Then, they pretend to educate that person about all the money they could make by investing in cryptocurrency. All the while, funneling that person’s money to their own accounts. As the ‘arms race’ between scammers and the public continues, scammers keep inventing new ways to scam their victims. The pig butchering scam is a novel cross between investment and romance scams.

It is not clear whether the addresses belonged to the largest crypto exchange in the world Binance led by the outspoken CEO Changpeng Zhao, popularly referred to as CZ, which is also domiciled in the Cayman Islands. Or whether it is a money laundering company that has used the same name to defraud unsuspecting victims. In a ploy known as “pig butchering,” victims have reported losing entire inheritances and retirement funds following fake online engagements designed to win over their trust. First he was persuaded to set up an account with Binance and pay in £500. Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange – a website where investors can buy into digital currencies including bitcoin and ethereum.

What Are Crypto Scams?

Jane Lee, a researcher at the online fraud-prevention firm Sift, began looking into crypto dating scams last year. She signed up for several popular dating apps and quickly matched with men who tried to offer her investing advice. Certain operating systems are more vulnerable to dating app scams too. For example, in Asia, people using iPhones are much more at risk of these scams because cybercriminals take advantage of Apple’s Super Signature distribution feature to gain access to and target Apple users. Through this method alone, scammers have already conned victims out of crypto worth over $1.4 million. Over 200 crypto traders from about 20 countries have lost an estimated $70 million in scams revolving around the cryptocurrency OEN.

Her latest interest is a someone who says he’s from Texas and working on a construction project in Africa. His mother has professed her love for him, assuring her son that the two will marry when he returns to the U.S. Through July of this year, there were more than 1,800 cases of romance fraud involving cryptocurrency reported to theFBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, with losses soaring to $133.4 million. This may seem fairly obvious, but it’s more than easy to fall into such a trap if you don’t stay alert.

Experts say the scam is a huge corporate enterprise run by syndicates linked to the Triads mafia. “I’ve ruined my life for the time being. The saddest thing will be telling my family.” He bought some Etherium online currency to invest via an online broker she recommended – which claimed to be backed by the Bank of Hong Kong. Soon she began “casually” mentioning how she followed Bitcoin trends and offered to teach him how to make money from prices going up and down. “I’ve never fallen victim to a scam, they usually feel obvious. But I’ve fallen victim to one and I’m broken.

The goal is to become this victim’s “lover” or “friend” through cordial discussions. A growing scam has hit the cryptocurrency market, which includes extensive contact to gain trust before stealing the victim’s investments. Essentially, it seems the key to safeguarding against crypto scammers is to make adequate provisions and apply critical thinking before undertaking transactions.

The Bitcoin accounts belonged to Binance Holdings, a company in the Cayman Islands. Victims of romance scams like these have lost a total of $1.3 billion over the past five years, the highest of any fraud category, according to the Federal Trade Commission. In 2021 alone, reported losses hit a record-breaking $547 million, according to government data.