An American woman and her father have lost $390,000 after she fell victim to a crypto dating scam.Nicole Hutchinson was approached by a man on Hinge who said he was from the same part of China where she was adopted, according to CBS News.
He had described how he was an avid crypto investor, and had suggested she get involved too.
Despite the fact she was “skeptical,” Hutchinson was encouraged to create an account on Crypto.com. But then she was told to transfer the money to an alternative platform.
After beginning with a small investment, she started investing larger amounts — and ended up encouraging her father to get involved after she saw that her accounts were in profit.Although their accounts had appeared to show a balance of $1.2 million, Hutchinson was told that she would need to pay a “tax bill” of $380,000 in order to access the funds. That’s when she realized that she had been duped.
The money they lost was an inheritance from her mother, who had recently died. She said:
“I messed up my life. I messed up my dad’s life.”
Describing the moment when he was told about the scam, her father Melvin added:
“All I could do was just hug her and tell her ‘It’s okay. It’s okay.’ And it was hard. It was hard. It was, we lost everything.”
A Bigger Operation
CBS News spoke to the blockchain intelligence firm Cipherblade, which described what happened as a “pig-butchering scam.”Overall, estimates suggest that the scammers may have stolen over $20 million from victims around the world — and it’s believed that the criminal gang is based in Asia.
The scammers specifically try to target people who are inexperienced when it comes to investing and cryptocurrencies.