An anonymous UK resident reportedly parted with nearly $200,000 of his savings after a woman he messaged in a dating app conned him. The man admitted he felt so desperate after the scam that he considered taking his life.
According to a recent coverage by BBC, the British citizen, called Tom (which is not his real name), was struggling with a break-up in 2020 and joined a dating application to look for companionship. Shortly after, a woman who introduced herself as Jia from Hong Kong approached him, and the duo started messaging.
Tom revealed that he and his online date were discussing their mutual future. Jia also portrayed herself as a successful cryptocurrency investor with “inside knowledge” and lured the man into dreaming of building a wealthy lifestyle with her.
“Issues were flagging up to me, but everything she was doing to build up trust with me was enough to keep me there,” the man admitted.
At one point, the woman asked Tom if he knew anything about bitcoin. The latter said he had invested in it a few years back. Then, Jia directed Tom to an online trading platform and instructed him to download the application on his mobile phone.
Once again, the British felt suspicious but at the same time lucky as he seemed to have met someone with “insider information” who could possibly make him rich. The woman encouraged Tom to keep making investments on the dubious app, telling him he would miss out on profits if he were not quick enough. The man ended up investing around $200,000 when he found out that his balance “had been cleared.”
“In the blink of an eye, everything was gone. I was sick to my stomach,” he confessed.
He asked Jia to explain the missing funds, but the woman refused to help, saying she had to fly to Australia and spend time with her sick aunt. At that point, Tom realized he had become a victim of a cryptocurrency scam. Feeling devastated, he searched for help and admitted that if it was not for his mother, he might have taken his life:
“I recognized I needed help straight away and went straight round to see my mum. If I didn’t have that support, I wouldn’t be here. I was going to do something that wouldn’t leave me here anymore.”
Tom is not the first individual to have his funds drained via a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme.
Last year, CryptoPotato reported that the Australian citizen Rhonda, who was just months away from retirement, became a victim of a similar scam. She was approached by a person claiming to be a local celebrity who asked her to start investing in bitcoin in a dubious application.
In the next several months, Rhonda made several investments which totaled all her lifestyle savings. Unfortunately, upon checking her account at one point, she noticed that all the funds had gone missing.
The local authorities tried to help her, but the operation failed. Despite realizing that her retirement plans were gone, Rhonda stayed positive and said she would continue working as a nurse.