Cryptocurrency related scams have been plaguing the world since Bitcoin was first created. While the type of scam and tenacity of scammers has evolved over the years, the victims remain the same – vulnerable people. One group of crypto scammers has targeted an elderly Australian couple, fleecing them out of their entire $900,000 pension pot.
Too Good to be True
The couple stumbled upon the scam website while on a road trip around Australia. The website had promised guaranteed returns, sounding like the perfect quick investment to make a bit of cash while on their road trip. The couple told 7 News that the Cryptocurrency trading website looked legitimate and initially delivered a high return. This is right out of the crypto scammer’s playbook, deliver quick and juicy returns early on in order to rope investors in. Then, when investors throw in all of their savings, the scam snaps shut, ensnaring their funds forever.
South Africans Take Matters into Their Own Hands
A similar crypto scam in South Africa gripped the town of Ladysmith, with virtually every resident investing into it at some point. However, after the scammer shut up shop and fled the town with all the cash, an angry mob quickly descended on the scammer’s house. Once there, the 1,500 strong mob looted the house and burned it to the ground. In the case of this scam, the authorities refused to do anything, with the police even giving the scammer escorts while his operation was active.
Australia is a Scammer Hotspot
Unfortunately, scammers in Australia made off with $4.3 million in 2018. The crypto business is booming in Australia, with many Australians looking to strike it rich by investing in crypto schemes. Unfortunately, not all are legitimate and inexperienced crypto investors don’t know what to look out for. This makes it very easy for scammers to set up a fake website, scam a handful of people, and shut up shop. They can then repeat this process very quickly using a new brand name in a new town or city.
It’s unlikely that the couple will ever see their money again, and the elderly couple has been forced to return to work. The 70-year-old retired bus driver is heading back to work once he gets back from the road trip of a lifetime. He has also been forced to sell his beloved 1965 Pontiac to make ends meet because of these scammers. Let’s hope that these crooks are brought to justice sooner rather than later.