BLUFA former crypto scammer-turned-whistle-blower says Australians are easy targets because they are extremely interested in bitcoin, and it was easy to convince them to invest.
'Frank', as he wants to be known, has opened up about how European scammers are targeting Australians for millions of dollars. He says many people who tried to purchase bitcoin through him have lost tens of thousands of dollars, and that one Australian lost $500,000. Australians lost money because the companies he worked for used fake trading platforms. Some were linked to cryptocurrency accounts or offered crypto trading. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's information about scams can be found on the Scamwatch website. This article makes the following points:
Be cautious when people request payment via cryptocurrencies.
While cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity, it is still very difficult to pay somebody in bitcoin.
Be suspicious of investment opportunities that promise a high return with little or no risk.
Only invest as much as you can afford to lose.
Scammers will often lure people by requiring a low initial investment but then use high-pressure sales tactics to encourage you to invest more.
Think twice about taking financial advice from someone on a dating app or site or through a social media site.
Australian government agencies will never request payment via Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or personal information to anyone you don't know and be careful even with people you know.
Seek financial advice before investing any money. ASIC's MoneySmart website has information on investing in cryptocurrencies.
If you feel you may be dealing with a scammer, stop talking to them and block them immediately.
Jul 2021 BBC 'We lost our life savings in a cryptocurrency scam'
Aug 2021 ACCC Australians lose over $70 million to bogus investment opportunities
Nov 2021 Cnet Cryptocurrency scams are all over social media. Don't get duped
Nov 2021 AFR American charged in Sydney over alleged global crypto scam
Dec 2021 ABC Australia Digital payments, cryptocurrency regulation flagged by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
Dec 2021 Forbes What Is Cryptocurrency?