A resident of Scotland’s county Lanarkshire was left with a £150,000 debt (almost $190,000) after falling victim to a cryptocurrency fraud. She is now forced to sell her home to avoid additional financial issues.
The woman sought support from Advice Direct Scotland and the local police, but the entities could not help her retrieve the funds.
‘It’s Absolutely Horrific’
Jennifer decided to invest her money into a crypto scheme after seeing a dubious advert on Facebook featuring the advice expert Martin Lewis.
“Martin Lewis was exactly why I looked at investing,” she explained.
The British journalist is the creator of a website that gives advice on money-saving techniques. He has also been a vocal advocate against fraudsters who have used his image in the past.
However, Jennifer believed in the legitimacy of the project and put in nearly $190,000 at the beginning of the year via Revolut. After investing for ten days in a row, her bank started blocking some of the transfers, making her doubt that something was wrong.
Jennifer felt “devastated” when realizing that she was caught in the web of crypto scammers. She also said her outstanding debt was so high that she had to sell her home to avoid further financial problems:
“I’ve never been in debt in my life, I’ve never taken out a loan in my life, I’ve never had a credit card bill. I can’t actually quite believe what’s happened to me, it’s absolutely horrific. It’s taken me a long time to get to where I am, and the thought of losing this home, obviously for the sake of my children, is horrific.”
The Scottish resident believes she has been the perfect target for the criminals since she has been “a very vulnerable person.”
“Words wouldn’t describe how I’m feeling at the moment. I feel sick every day,” she concluded.
Unfortunately for her, the local police and Advice Direct Scotland classified her case as a scam, so she could not reclaim the lost money.
Martin Lewis emphasized, saying this incident made him feel “sick.” He also warned people never to invest in schemes that feature his image:
“If you see me in an advert, it’s a scam. I do not do adverts, and I have the inglorious title of being the person whose face is used in more scam adverts than anyone else.”
Scams Are Not Location-Bound
Unfortunately, Jennifer’s case is just one in a series of scams that have recently taken place across the globe. Another example is a Hong Kong woman who lost her life savings worth almost $900,000.
She fell prey to a fraudster who contacted her on Instagram and urged her to invest in digital assets with the promise of great returns.
When the woman attempted to withdraw some of her funds, she was requested to pay a certain fee. She even tried to borrow money from her daughter before realizing she had been conned.
The Hong Kong law enforcement agents classified the case as “obtaining property by deception:” a crime that is punishable by up to ten years in jail. However, the authorities have not yet detained any suspects.
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