Classic Grooming Aproach for Crypto Scam
Somebody reached out to Lee on Facebook and claimed they could coach her about making easy cash by investing in cryptocurrencies.
With an initial investment of $2,000, followed by a few thousand more, her account appeared to increase. Her new friend encouraged her to invest more cash.
Eventually, Lee invested all her savings. She even withdrew her retirement fund early and then borrowed money from friends.
After investing $24,000, Lee chose to sell some Cryptocurrency and withdraw some cash. However, that’s when she was informed there was a $5,000 tax obligation for withdrawals and a $5,000 miner’s tax obligation.
(NOTE: Investment companies are NEVER tax collection agents for governments).
Her account was then “frozen”, and her money was gone!
Mel’s Romance Scam & Crypto Investment Scam
Another woman from Toronto, Mel, claimed she purchased cryptocurrencies after connecting with somebody on a dating website.
The scammer would boast about their trading accounts and how much they made. Afterwards, he asked Mel if she would like tips on how to trade… this is the standard grooming process.
She also started with just a few thousand, but continued pumping in much more. When it appeared her account was worth in excess of $100,000, just like Lee’s case, Mel tried to withdraw the money. In the same way, she was informed that she would need to pay costs and tax obligations to get the cash out.
Eventually Mel gave the scammer on the dating website a total of $80,000 and was unable to get any of her money back.
Scammers are making use of social media sites as a device to locate victims, who the scammers refer to in the trade as “Suckers”.
Naive investors should understand that excessive guarantees, that appear too-good-to-be-true, are more than likely a scam. NEVER deal with a person who reaches out to you via social media, dating sites or WhatsApp and other messengers, they are almost always scammers in Nigeria, South East Asia or other developing nations.
Less than 1 in 10,000 Cybercrimes are Prosecuted in Morth America
Your local law enforcement team is likely overwhelmed, understaffed, and not equipped to deal with your case. Most victims report that, after reporting a cybercrime to the police, they either do not hear back from them, or the delay in action takes so long, the money is long gone. This is further exacerbated by the cross-border, multinational nature of the criminals involved.