A couple in England lost their life savings to a cryptocurrency scam that promised to top up their retirement savings. Speaking to the BBC under a fake name, “Joseph” told reporters that scammers tricked him into investing all of his money into a scheme designed to rob him blind.
“I wanted to do this online trading as everyone was saying how good it was, to give us a better lifestyle,” Joseph told reporters. According to Joseph, he was susceptible to the scheme because he got sick just after investing his money into what he thought was a cryptocurrency fund. Instead, he was just handing money over to fraudsters.
Joseph describes the scam as a fairly standard “pay more to get your money” kind of scheme. The scammers told him that he only needed to invest ten percent of what he’d already put in so that he could free up his funds. He obliged, too sick to know any better, thinking that he had unrealized profits waiting for him.
As the weeks went on and his illness continued, Joseph continued to receive text messages from the scammers, purporting to need ever more money to help him secure his investment. He tells reporters that this mental state wasn’t clear enough to understand that he was being defrauded, so he just kept agreeing to hand over the cash.
These kinds of scams are especially difficult to track down because banks are typically hesitant to refund anyone’s money after they willingly send it to someone else, even if such transfers are under false pretenses. According to Joseph, he has no way to make the money back, as he’s retired. He and his wife are out the equivalent of nearly $300,000, which amounts to their life savings.
It’s critical that you stay vigilant when you’re online and looking to invest in new standards like cryptocurrency. Crypto can be a great way to grow your money into a bigger payout down the road, or it could open you up to scammers who are just trying to get a hold of your cash.
The trouble with crypto is that it’s a very new standard, and many online investors aren’t fully familiar with it yet. This is especially true of older investors, many of whom are targeted by scammers looking to make a quick buck. If you’re looking to get into crypto, consider going through a financial advisor to help make sure that you’re making smart moves with your money.