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Woman Loses Life Savings To Crypto Scam After Befriending Someone On Social Media

Scammers can pretend to be anyone, like a stockbroker, investment manager, or even a new friend online.
Image Source: Photo by Yan Krukau | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Yan Krukau | Pexels

Yang Lin was having a fun time on TikTok when she met someone and became friends with them. They shared funny videos and chatted every day. After a few weeks, this new friend suggested Yang Lin invest in cryptocurrency. Thinking they were being helpful, they even suggested an app for Yang Lin to use. Yang Lin trusted them, downloaded the app they recommended, and transferred her life savings to it. Sadly, that was the end of Yang Lin's money. She had been tricked by a scammer.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio | Pexels

Many people in Australia, like Yang Lin, have fallen for fraudulent investments. Australians lost more than $1.3 billion to these frauds in 2023 alone. These frauds typically operate in the same manner. They don't offer much detail about how it all works, but they guarantee you'll make a lot of money with absolutely little risk. They also incite you to act fast by warning you that if you put off investing for too long, you'll lose out.

According to CommBank employee James Roberts, these frauds can appear as incredible opportunities to make money or as more subdued, such as providing smaller returns or even mentioning cryptocurrency. Customers should be cautious suggested Roberts from CommBank. If you receive a questionable call, text, or email, you should pause and consider the situation. Avoid people who offer you easy money by making high-yielding, low-risk investments.

Image Source: Photo by Roman Pohorecki | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Roman Pohorecki | Pexels

Scammers can pretend to be anyone, like a stockbroker, investment manager, or even a new friend online. They might make their schemes seem real by using professional-looking websites, documents, or apps. Sometimes, they might even pay out a little money at first to make you trust them and invest more.

It's a good idea to discuss anything that seems suspicious with a close friend or relative. Watch out for social media as well, since con artists are utilizing sites like Tinder and TikTok to connect with victims. Social media scams accounted for the second-highest reported losses in 2023, rising by 16.5% to $93.5 million.

According to Roberts, con artists exploit information from social media to target individuals with fraudulent advertisements based on their preferences, personal information, and web browsing history. Since social media is inexpensive and provides a large audience, they can easily hide themselves behind phoney advertisements and other methods of communication.

Be extra cautious if you see ads on social media promoting investments that claim to have support from famous people – these endorsements are usually fake. Some of these ads might even use fancy technology to pretend to be famous folks, making the scam seem more legitimate.

Image Source: Photo by Porapak Apichodilok | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Porapak Apichodilok | Pexels

Stop: If someone offers you a too-good-to-be-true investment deal, just pause. Take a moment to think, especially if they're rushing you or promising big returns.

Check: Do some digging yourself. Search online for the investment name along with the word 'scam'. And talk to friends or family about it – they might see things you haven't.

Reject: If you're not sure about an investment offer, say no. Delete their messages or hang up the call, especially if they're pushing you to decide fast.

As Bitcoin exchanges are frequently exploited in frauds, they have taken precautions including holding back or refusing payments. In addition, their NameCheck tool verifies that the bank details you are using are accurate based on their information. Contact your bank as soon as possible if you believe you have been the victim of fraud or see anything odd in your account.