Fake Cryptocurrency Scam Costs Sydney Woman $8,000
Investing online can be lucrative for some, but a Sydney woman has been seriously left behind after falling in love with a Facebook advert.
When Anna Rogers first spotted an ad on her Facebook feed promising “access to Elon Musk’s investment platform,” she thought it was too good to be true.
But curiosity got the better of Sydney’s wife and after being repeatedly targeted by the same advertisement, she decided to investigate further on February 3.
“Pass the official Tesla test,” the ad reads.
“Access Elon Musk’s investment platform. Tesla – Computer breakthrough in the world of finance! Suitable for beginners. Available on any device. Potential profit from 1000 per day.
With one click, she was directed to a website that appeared to be a legitimate place to trade for currencies, cryptocurrencies, stocks, and commodities.
“The website looked legit and professional, and I was keen to earn some money to achieve some financial goals I had set,” Ms. Rogers said. news.com.au.
“So I signed up and a ‘trader’ by the name of Mark called me the same day.
“After hearing my accent, Mark asked me what country I was born in. When I said I was from Poland, he quickly informed me that he was from Slovakia. I asked about Slovakia, he told me that when he was young his parents moved to Miami. I didn’t think about that at the time.”
During their conversation, Mark asked Ms. Rogers if he could show her how to navigate the suspicious trading website.
“Within about ten minutes, Mark had me download the ‘Any Desk’ remote desktop application. After downloading the app, Mark took control of my computer so he could show me in real time how the platform was working,” Ms Rogers said. news.com.au.
“For example, he clicked on the screen that showed bitcoin and I remember he said ‘here you can buy a bitcoin for 29,000 Australian dollars, but the next day you can sell it on the US market for $31,000 per piece “.”
In the same conversation, Mark urged Ms Rogers to transfer $10,000 to a “trading account” so she could begin the process of making money.
Ms. Rogers did not have $10,000 to invest at the time.
However, since she believed the business was legitimate, Ms Rogers decided to transfer $3,000 – all she could afford – from her Westpac account.
The wire transfer was rejected by Westpac.
“In hindsight, I should have seen that as a sign that something was wrong,” Ms Rogers recalled. “I wish I had talked to someone about what I was doing.”
When Ms Rogers was called back the next day to follow up on the transfer, she naively decided to dip into the savings in her Commonwealth Bank account instead.
“I then transferred $3,000 to the account and within days received a return on my investment of $2,000,” Ms. Rogers explained. “I was delighted.”
According to Ms Rogers, trader Mark would call her every three to four days to update her on her investment, send her screenshots to ‘prove’ it was legit and ask her to invest more money. money to unlock a “bigger comeback” for her.
“I had login credentials to the trading website so I could always check whether what Mark was saying was accurate and it always was,” Ms Rogers said.
“Therefore, when he asked me for additional funds, I said yes but that I could only invest a little more.”
On February 26, Ms. Rogers made her second transfer of $5,000.
Two days later, Mrs. Rogers had not heard from Mark and knew something was wrong.
When she tried to call him to discuss her investment, the phone number was disconnected.
Terrified that she had been scammed, Ms Rogers called Commonwealth Bank and reported the transfers as fraud.
Final confirmation that she had been duped came weeks later when she received another suspicious phone call.
“A man called me and said Mark had passed on my details as he thought I might be interested in buying some gold and making a solid return,” Ms Rogers said.
“I politely told the man I wasn’t interested and hung up.”
Looking back, Ms Rogers is “embarrassed” by her experience and wishes she had paid more attention to the red flags associated with the transaction.
“Posting a fake ad on Facebook giving me access to Elon Musk’s investment platform was too good to be true,” she admitted.
“Mark sending me a bogus ‘arbitrage trading’ document, insisting on payment by bank transfer and not being reachable by phone at all times should have set off more alarm bells for me,” said- she declared.
How to make sure you’re not a victim of a cryptocurrency scam
Rogers has the following advice for others considering investing their money:
• People running a scam try to appear legitimate by posting fake ads on social media or having a professional website.
• If you invest your money in something that seems too good to be true, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. In particular, watch for posters or vendors that say you’re going to make money and refer to a “celebrity” in their posts to woo you.
• If the scammers want you to pay immediately or by bank transfer, think twice. Try buying a product or paying for services through a solid URL with “https” in front, or through a secure payment service like PayPal.
• If you have made a bank transfer and have not received a response or if you believe you have been scammed, contact your bank to stop the transfer as soon as possible.
• Report the scam to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission via Scamwatch here. Please note that the ACCC cannot help recover money from funds or track down a scammer.
If you or someone you know has been scammed, email [email protected]