A woman in Somerset in the U.K. has fallen victim to a scam after investing in BTC. The scam cost her nearly 40,000 pounds. Going by the name “Lisa,” the victim was led to believe the crypto platform she was pumping her money into was backed by Martin Lewis, an alleged Money Saving Expert in her area.
A Woman Named Lisa Loses Money After BTC Investments
Instead, she claims she was “groomed” by online scammers who ultimately filed for several loans in her name. In an interview, Janet Quinn – the scams lead officer for Heart of the Southwest Trading Standards – said crypto fraud is becoming quite common. Commenting on the situation, she said:
Cryptocurrency, bitcoin, [and] any type of investment scam is big at the moment. People are trying to find a way to make quick or easy money because of the cost-of-living crisis.
A spokesperson for Money Saving Expert also threw their two cents into the mix, stating:
Martin never does adverts and never promotes investments. Anything you see suggesting otherwise is fraudulent and a scam. If you see the post online, don’t engage with it, as it may be trying to trick you into handing over information. Instead, report it so it can be taken down.
Lisa initially decided to put 200 pounds of her own money into bitcoin when she saw an advertisement for it on Facebook. From there, she was regularly called by someone she didn’t know was a scammer. The person got in touch with her daily for about two months. Lisa said:
He told me we were business partners. He groomed me to trust him. Right the way through, I thought it was a Martin Lewis, genuine thing. Before I knew it, he’d opened an Experian account on my behalf and applied for approximately 11 loans using false details about my income.
At one point, she looked at her account and saw more than 55,000 pounds. However, it wasn’t long before she got a call from the scammer, who demanded she transfer the money to him. She said:
I asked, ‘Well, where has it come from?’ I got a little bit angry, he became abusive, and he said if I didn’t comply, then I would lose all the money I’d made.
Trying to Stop Further Damage
In the end, she had to work out loan-paying options with the many companies that have been in touch with her. Right now, she is on a plan of paying around 1,000 pounds per month over the next five years. She is doing this to prevent her credit from being ruined, though she can’t help but feel very bad about everything that’s happened. She explained:
I’ve felt incredibly stupid and ashamed. I don’t answer my phone to unknown numbers. I live in fear.