A British pensioner living in Nottinghamshire parted with $207,000 after becoming a victim of a bitcoin romance scam.
The police managed to restore some of the stolen funds and warned people to be extra vigilant with online dating due to the rise of similar frauds.
The Latest BTC Romance Scheme
The Nottinghamshire police said a woman in her 70s transferred over $200,000 to a suspicious bitcoin address belonging to an individual she was dating online. The person in question orchestrated the scheme from Nigeria, and his only goal was to steal funds from the pensioner.
The woman, whose name was not identified, started chatting with the scammer in May 2020, who introduced himself as a US Army surgeon. Their communication in the following months progressed to a relationship and switched to Google Handouts.
At one point, the wrongdoer told the woman he was in love with her and needed money to end his contract and be with her. He insisted that the only way to receive funds was if the lady transferred some to a particular bitcoin wallet, promising to pay her back in time.
She withdrew cash from her bank account and deposited the notes in BTC ATMs across Nottingham. However, the lady soon realized she had sent over $200,000 of her savings to a fraudster and not a noble surgeon who wanted to be with her.
After opening a case, the local police partnered with her bank and managed to refund her nearly $135,000. Still, she felt devastated and warned others to be extra cautious when Web dating.
Police and Crime Commissioner – Caroline Henry – highlighted the authorities’ efforts that helped the woman restore some of her drained assets. She also urged people to contact law enforcement agencies as soon as they have any doubts about such scams:
“We would also urge anyone going through a similar scenario to contact the police. Don’t be embarrassed to tell us what you are going through. We can help and support you if you are going through a rough time.”
The police further said people should not stop using dating sites but follow some essential rules, such as never accepting friend requests from individuals they don’t know. Revealing too many personal details or sending money to someone they have only met online are also to be avoided.
The Similar Case of a British Man
An anonymous UK resident parted with a significant amount of funds after a woman he was messaging on a dating website conned him. His mysterious lover, called Jia, displayed herself as a successful cryptocurrency investor with “inside knowledge” and told him to invest in bitcoin via a dubious application.
The man ended up allocating $200,000 when he saw his balance “had been cleared.” He asked Jia for an explanation, but she was reluctant to help, saying she had to fly to Australia and spend time with her sick aunt.
The desperate person realized he had become a victim of a cryptocurrency scam and admitted that if it was not for his mother, he might have committed suicide.