Teresa Jackson – a retired teacher from Portishead, Somerset – lost her savings in an online scam. A mysterious ”financial advisor” persuaded her to stake £120,000 in a bitcoin investment scheme advertised on Instagram.
Universal Credit Instead of Multiplying Her Money
The UK’s national reporting center for fraud and cybercrime sounded a note of caution that crypto investing could be a hazardous operation.
Action Fraud and Citizens Advice informed about the case of Teresa Jackson. Impressed by a Bitcoin investment plan on Instagram, the retired 63-year-old teacher started contemplating whether to place some of her funds in it.
Subsequently, she was contacted by an individual who claimed to be a financial advisor with outstanding knowledge about Bitcoin. The anonymous man supposedly sounded very thrust-worthy and persuaded Jackson to invest £120,000, which was actually her pension pot and life savings.
Shortly after she sent the money, she tried to contact the ”advisor” and check what happened with her investment, but there was no answer, and the funds were irrevocably gone:
”I felt embarrassed and stupid. My family trusted me to know what I was doing. I am on Universal Credit now, simple as that. I’m comfortable but I can’t have the life I used to have.”
Ms. Jackson received back half of her money from her bank when she informed them about the scam. However, the institution was unable to restore the full amount because she transferred the cash herself.
Action Fraud’s Recommendations
Working together with the City of London Police and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) – Auction Fraud – the authorities cautioned about the dangers of crypto trading. One of the leading reporting centers for cyber scams revealed that intimidators advertise tempting investments but, in the end, steal the money of the victims:
”Fraudsters will cold call victims and use social media platforms to advertise ‘get rich quick’ investments in mining and trading in cryptocurrencies.”
The hackers would then convince the people caught in the hoax to sign up to unknown cryptocurrency investment websites and open a trading account using their driving licenses or credit cards. But, unfortunately, investing just an initial minimum deposit is never enough, and the intimidators start pushing the victims to put in more and more to gain higher profit.
In many cases, the victims realize they have been conned. Then they see the social media with their investment deactivated, and the fraudsters can not be contacted any more, just like it happened with Teresa Jackson.