Trading crypto has become a hugely popular thing to do amongst everyday traders. This is good in the sense that the crypto space is now gaining the mainstream attention it largely deserved. However, there is a bad side to all this growth in that as crypto has expanded, so has digital crime, and one scam is becoming all too familiar.
How One Crypto Scam Cost a Woman $200
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says that more than $1 billion has been lost by Americans to crypto-related scams in the year 2021. One of the victims – a woman named Natasha Reyna – recently discussed in an interview a situation in which she was scammed online by someone posing as one of her best friends.
The problems started when she received a message on Instagram. She said:
I was like it’s 200 bucks, and that is a lot of money, but at the same time, like a little part of my brain was like, ‘Oh my god, if this happens it’s going to be awesome.’
Reyna says the message came from what appeared to be one of her friends. The message told her to invest roughly $200 in crypto and that she would see relatively quick returns – a huge red flag for most experienced traders. However, Reyna felt the circumstances sounded good, commenting:
So, I’m like I could pay my bills, my car off.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says that scams like these have tripled in popularity in recent years. The fraudsters ask for small amounts so that they don’t look too suspicious. However, asking from multiple people usually results in multiple payments and a rather large lump sum at the end.
Reyna says she put the money into the crypto project in question and was even given a link that would allow her to watch her money grow. Eventually, she saw that $200 turn into $4,700, which likely would excite any investor. However, seeing so much money in her account, Reyna wanted to make a withdrawal, but was denied this privilege of doing so unless she invested another $1,500. She said:
$4,700… I was like now give me it, you know, like I want to withdraw this, and they were like no, you need to reinvest $1,500.
This Is Becoming Too Common
This is when she decided to call the BBB and explain what had happened. They told her that this was a common scam and that she was the latest victim. Caitlin Driscoll – a representative of the bureau – mentioned in a statement:
Cryptocurrency scams were identified as the second riskiest scam last year, a significant increase from the seven spot the year prior.
In the long run, Reyna is happy that she only lost $200 instead of something much larger, though she says that if she’s ever going to invest in crypto again, she’ll do her due diligence.