The latest to hit the list of scams is this one, leaving quite a few US residents at the mercy of cryptocurrency scammers.
FOX12 reports about one such incident with Dennis Corey, a resident of Portland, recently lost more than a two hundred grand due to the scam. The scam is incredibly tricky and social engineered just perfectly to scam innocent victims out of thousands of dollars.
How did the scammer initially contact the victim?
The victim, Dennis Corey, was contacted initially through Facebook Messenger. The message sender was a stranger trying to form a warm friendship out of the contact. Corey mentions, “He was a mutual friend – or I thought he was a mutual friend on Facebook and so then we just started chatting,” FOX12 reports.
However, unknown to Corey, everything started going downhill when the scammer got innocent Corey to signup on a crypto investment app that he says he trusted, because the scammer initially loaned him money to get started.
How does the scam work?
Corey initially started investing small amounts in the range of a thousand dollars. However, soon, the scammer encouraged Corey to invest almost $50,000 each multiple times to speed up the return on investment.
How did the victim believe the scam?
The app used by the scammer is the main design behind the scam. Apparently the app makes the victim believe that they’re making a decent return on investment (ROI) on their trades, and sooner than later, greed takes over and the victim ends up investing more to keep the ROI flowing.
As FOX12 quotes Corey, “It would come up and say, ‘oh, you increased your amount by this much money’ and so the balance just started accumulating and accruing.”
Then began the threats and blackmails
When Dennis Corey thought it’s finally time to cash out and reap the benefit of his trades, he was hit by cleverly designed excuses like, requiring to pay tax fee, certification fee, transfer fee and so on. The victim ended up paying this fees as well, as he thought he was thousands of dollars into profit. After this, the scammer started blackmailing Corey with various ridiculous messages and documentations to pressurize them.
FOX12 quotes Corey along the lines of, “Meanwhile, they are sending me threatening messages, saying, ‘if you don’t pay me back, I’m going to sue you, my lawyers will find you, you think I can’t find you?’ And all these documentations.”
Finally, everything was wiped clean by the scammer and Corey was left hanging, with no one to reach out for help. Eventually, Corey contacted the authorities viz Portland Police, the FBI and the Oregon Department of Justice.
“I see everything I’ve gone through and I just want to get it out there to the public so people will be aware to not get involved in this – because this will totally upset their life and turn everything upside down,” Corey said.
How to protect yourself?
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are rife with cryptocurrency scams and most scammers go out of their way to design the scams to make innocent victims believe that they’re legit. If you’re on any social media platform or messaging app, we recommend to always do a thorough investigation and research into the scheme and business behind the cryptocurrency trading exchange. More often than not, if the scheme sounds too good to be true, it usually is a scam.
In the year 2022 alone, the total amount reached $13.6 million for Cryptocurrency scams in Oregon.