Stephen Carr – a resident of Meaford, Ontario – said he lost all of his nearly $500,000 savings after being scammed in a cryptocurrency scheme on YouTube.
The crooks have used the video sharing website many times to lure the victims. Some have even uploaded fake recordings of famous people, including Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, and Kanye West, who appear to be promoting questionable cryptocurrency investments.
In a recent interview, Carr said he got involved in the crypto scam through a video he watched on YouTube. The malefactors promised the viewers that they could earn significant profits if they invested in their project.
At first, the Canadian did not find anything suspicious and contacted the people. He started with an investment of $250 and contributed another $2,500 soon after.
After a while, Carr requested a withdrawal of $1,000 and the entity immediately honored it. This gave him more confidence that everything was legit, and between October 2022 and January 2023 he invested almost $500,000 (all of his savings).
The Canadian had his first doubts when he saw his funds soar to $1.3m and demanded to withdraw some of it. However, the bad actors insisted that he pay a liquidation fee of $150,000 to complete the takedown.
“I got scammed, and in hindsight, I put a ridiculous amount of money into this and a ridiculous trust in these people,” Carr said.
The devastated individual admitted the fraud forced him to put his house up for sale so he could reorganize his life. “I have maybe two or three months of usable money left, and that’s it,” he added.
Carr said he wanted to share his story so others can be careful not to repeat his mistake.
Jason Tschetter – an Alberta resident who also got caught in a similar scheme last year – recently launched Fraud Hunters Canada (an organization that supports victims and helps them recover funds).
He pointed out that criminals have turned cryptocurrency scams into a “real business”, while police lack the time and capacity to track down and catch the culprits.
“Unfortunately a lot of people will go through anger, depression, denial. They will even try to negotiate with the criminal, but it just won’t work. I’ve spoken to several recovery companies, but many of them are in the same boat and are fraudulent themselves,” Tschetter said.
Other YouTube Crypto Scams
Steve Wozniak – one of the co-founders of Apple – deposit a lawsuit against YouTube in the summer of 2020, alleging it allowed fraudsters to use its face to lure people into fake bitcoin giveaways. American inventor and computer programmer lost the case in 2021 after the court determined that his arguments were not strong enough.
Wozniak isn’t the only famous figure involved in such scams. Criminals have also impersonated Elon Musk, Bill Gates and others over the years.
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