An Islander has lost £1.2m investing in fake bitcoins in what could be one of biggest single-victim fraud cases in Jersey.
According to the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum (JFPF), the man, who was an experienced investor in cryptocurrencies, was scammed by criminals who claimed to work for a legitimate company and, over a period of time, tricked him into investing his life savings. Despite bank intervention, there was no way to recover his money.
The gang responsible claimed they were operating out of Norway, but investigators say there is evidence of money being moved to bank accounts around the world.
Following this islander’s huge loss, we are warning local residents to be extra vigilant when investing in cryptocurrencies or any investment that seems too good to be true and promises high returns with no risk."
JFPF is warning all Islanders to be ‘extra vigilant' as online scams become more sophisticated.
JFPF spokesperson Mike Jones, who is the Director of Policy and Risk at the Jersey Financial Services Commission, commented:
"Following this islander's huge loss, we are warning local residents to be extra vigilant when investing in cryptocurrencies or any investment that seems too good to be true and promises high returns with no risk. Always get independent advice from a professional, and make sure the company you're dealing with is legitimate."
A spokesperson for the Jersey Financial Services Commission told the Jersey Evening Post: "The victim was engaged for over an 18-month period and they were able to build trust prior to getting the victim to send the greater amounts.
"They were made to believe that the returns would be 15 times the investment amount and the criminals were using well-known UK company names to convince them. The requests for further funds were allegedly in relation to taxes and fees which were imposed in the foreign jurisdictions where the original monies were sent."
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