Beware of Crypto Currency Scams

In the past 12 months Australian’s have been involved in a scam epidemic, and crypto currency scams are the fastest growing threats. Just in the past year Australian’s have lost over $221 million to these scams, with most being unrecoverable. As cryptocurrency is a high risk investment this can lead to massive capital losses.

In October 2021 a Sunshine Coast man was scammed out of $100,000 through an online trading platform. The 54 year old invested $50,000 into a Cryptocurrency online investment scheme, which offered investors the opportunity to profit through a legitimate trading platform, however, the account was set up by scammers.

The scheme was formulated to make the victim believe the trades and profits were genuine, when in fact the data was false. As part of the scam the man was informed, he would not be able to withdraw on the false profits for a 12 month period.

After six months of being led to believe the scheme was genuine through online education and training, the victim was convinced to invest another $50,000 into the scam with an offer to increase
his level of investor membership to Platinum. As the original account was set up by the scammers through a legitimate online platform meaning the scammers also had withdrawal access under the provisions of the account.

In this case, the victim hadn’t set up an online trading coin wallet, so it’s believed the withdrawals were undertaken by anonymous entities shortly after the deposits were made. Victims are often
distracted from email and required to correspond via an App based encrypted communication platform that cannot be intercepted by police.

Police can investigate, however, as most scammers are offshore, it is very hard for funds to be recovered or even commence proceedings locally. Potential investors are warned to be wary of the
promise of significant returns or guaranteed returns, especially those with time limitations on when they can withdraw, which gives fraudsters a longer period to operate.

Red Flags to look out for:

  • If you are told you won’t have access to your funds for a set period
  • Others offering to set up your Crypto Wallet for you
  • Being lured into investment levels with terms such as Silver, Platinum or Gold level customers as an example
  • If it’s too good to be true, it usually is not true



Natasa Briffa