A recent story by The Guardian revealed that investors globally had lost over $69 million to a Kyiv-based crypto scam. The news outlet interviewed several victims who lost money to the scammers.
One of the persons interviewed during the scam was Kate, a pensioner. She said that she lost $4000 to the scammers. The scam was being run out of a call center in Kyiv. When she contacted them, she told them that she only had $150.
She is just one of the people globally who lost money to the “boiler room.” The scam involved scammers making calls to potential victims. This scam was exposed after an investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
According to the report, the scammers managed to steal around $69 million from people around the world. According to internal documents sent to a Swedish paper by a whistleblower, around 20 Australians were caught up in the scam. Talking to the victims revealed that multiple scammers using similar techniques sometimes ripped them off. One of the methods they used was to ask for more money from victims so that they could release the profits their initial investment had allegedly made.
Some of the victims, such as a wedding dress designer named Rhoda Rutherford only lost a small amount. She claims to have only lost $350 to the scammers. According to her, she fell for the scam after seeing Hugh Jackman discussing Bitcoin. Mr. Jackman is one of the people who have had their likeness used by scammers. The Use of celebrities by crypto scammers is becoming quite popular. We recently reported how a Qatari billionaire had his likeness used by crypto scammers on Facebook. According to Rutherford, when she refused to send more money, the scammers would not stop calling her. Sometimes, she gets calls at night from different people, according to the report.
How the Crypto Scam Worked
One victim said that the scammers would promise you that you could withdraw your profits once your account hit $10,000. To do this, you would need to pay a 20% commission. One victim claims she borrowed A$3000, which she borrowed from her son. Once her balance hit $23,000, the scammers demanded more fees so she could get her money. In total, she lost about A$4,000.
Other Crypto Scams
The report notes that crypto is not the only investment scam online. Previously, binary options scams have been quite popular. These scams entail betting on whether the price of shares will rise or drop. Most of these scams were being run out of Israel, thanks to its booming tech sector. By 2016, the scams were so big that an Israeli publication wrote a story on it.
Avoiding Crypto Scams
Crypto scams are quite common in the crypto sector. In general, if an investment promises you unrealistic returns, you should avoid it. Besides that, if a project claims to have been endorsed by a celebrity, it is probably a scam. Always conduct as much research as you can before you sign up for any investment.
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