A man based in the Bay Area, California, lost about $1.2 million in a Silicon Valley crypto scam that was targeted at many other investors in the region. Federal investigators noted that such fraud cases are known as “pig butchering,” which are growing at an increasing rate across California. Most of these scams are aimed at wiping crypto funds from Asian Americans.
The man was baffled when he identified the scam. While explaining his situation at that moment and how he got scammed, he said to ABC 7 News that:
“I was shaking. I was collapsing. Someone approached me. I thought it was my old colleague from my previous job. She gained my trust. I was vulnerable at the time with my dying father.”
The woman he mentioned introduced herself as ‘Jessica’ to him. She used to regularly message him for about a month. After learning that his father is fighting between life and death, she offered to help him with an opportunity to earn with cryptocurrency investments. She said that the earnings would aid with the funeral costs. The man chose to keep his investments a secret from his family. He was cautious while putting in his money and commented on the same saying:
“I have a financial and accounting background, so I was being careful. I started with $5,000, $10,000 just to see how it is.”
He then transferred funds from his bank account to a legitimate crypto exchange platform. This money eventually landed up on a platform that Jesicca recommended him to make trades on. The site was a complete fraud but he couldn’t identify that. On the same lines, he said:
“It looked so real, so legitimate. I had no reason to doubt it was fake.”
Shawn Bradstreet, the U.S. Secret Service Special Agent, explained the same saying:
“Once they see how easy it is to invest, they see a rise in their screen account and then they end up investing their entire life savings in a matter of days. The counterfeit sites used can look legitimate, but the money is going straight to the criminals.”
Just four days after the death of his father the Bay Area man lost $500,000. However, the accused Silicon Valley crypto scam executer said that he could recover the lost money soon. He then believed that all of it was real and the crypto scammer asked him to purchase more capital to reverse his losses. The man’s account balance at that point showed an overdraft of $69,000 but he managed to get a loan of $200,000 and even borrowed $100,000 from his brother-in-law. By December 3, 2021, all his investments were wiped off. The $1.2 million loss included his hard-earned savings that took 30 years and his daughter’s education funds.
The Silicon Valley crypto scam not only took away his funds but also his hope. He said that was a “nightmare” for him and with teary eyes warned everyone to stay away from crypto. Such crypto frauds and scams have been extremely common and are always proven to be detrimental to common people.