Retired Cop Lost More Than $15,000 in A Hybrid CryptoCurrency / Online Dating Scam
Jenkins is a 57-year-old retired cop from outside of Atlantic City living on the pension money, who had never fallen into the scammer trap till he met a woman named Alice, a 37-year-old woman with a sympathetic ear, to whom he gave his money.
They used to have regular conversations which event took place on video calls sometimes. After a couple of months, she started pursuing him to join a cryptocurrency and started sharing details. She made him buy a “mining certificate” and guided him to a website slathered to handle the liquidity mining. Jenkins is very attracted to the money, therefore, he continued as profit started rising. He made his family invest, resulting in $60,000 lost in the scam.
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Table of Contents
Overview of The Challenges
None of the authorities had dealt with the scam named Crypto catfishing which took Jenkins’ money. The authorities were not even aware of this kind of scam. The officer stated that they lack the resources to deal with such cases.
The End Solution
There are 4425 accounts whose scamming pattern were similar to how Jenkins was scammed. Further, an average of $13000 is lost by every individual of 5046 accounts. People should look at the domain registration and avoid access to newly created sites. Further, the cryptocurrency industry needs to do a better job of tracing and watching users’ every move to ensure the investors’ financial assets. The wallets are more transparent for regular users, therefore pay attention to little indications of someone trapping you if, like in Jenkins’s case, you are unable to access your wallet.
Results of This Scam Case
The most common kind of scam is a romance scam, which leads the victims to become easy targets. Jenkins was scammed by the crypto account that belonged to four other victims at the same time. The pattern of cryptocurrency owners approving access to victims’ money and then stealing them by getting the money out. Therefore, the registration of crypto accounts used to be checked by users before making investments.
What Was This Crypto / Romance Hybrid Scam Case?
The online platform has reformed the way of living. Before the second half of the twenty-century and twenty-first centuries, the world was not what it is today.
People communicate through letters, while nowadays we have multiple socializing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter along with others. Socializing and reference have become an essential part of one’s life in order to progress in a career. Further, business was conducted through personal meetings conducted by people in order to discuss and come on the same ground. However, nowadays, people conduct business by investing digitally in platforms like cryptocurrency.
It is a decentralized system where the transactions are recorded and a peer-to-peer approach is used to carry out the business. People around the world are connected to cryptocurrency websites and applications, they interact in order to make a deal that enables anyone from any region of the world to send and receive payments. Thus, some ill-intentioned people make use of the user’s vulnerability and naïveness to set traps by sending malware links to access personal details, fake romance, and catfishing to steal their money. People have reported losing millions of money at the hands of scammers.
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Jenkins Accuses MetaMask for Crypto Wallet Theft
The company which Jenkins accessed in order to make transactions and generate money was MetaMask. It is a free crypto wallet software that can be added to your chrome and connect you virtually to any Ethereum-based platform. Also, it is a decentralized application that serves as an Ethereum wallet and gets installed like any regular plugin.
It is the most popular crypto wallet service with over 21 million monthly users. The user allows you to store Ether and other ERC-20 tokens in order to make transactions to any Ethereum address. MetaMask seems pretty difficult to operate from the outside, however, it is the most simple Ethereum wallet browser to use, which can be set up in a couple of minutes as the user adds its extension in the chrome. In the absence of Chrome, it can be operated on a chromium-based browser such as Brave or Firefox. After adding an extension in your chrome or another extension, click on get started to begin creating your Ethereum wallet. The wallet can be made by clicking on the “Create a wallet” button in the next step. Further, conclude the creating account process by setting an eight-character password. Thus, you will be logged in to the MetaMask application.
The purpose of this application is to send and receive payments or spend the coins on games or other activities. Payment transactions can be made by selecting the recipient’s address, entering the amount to be sent, and clicking on the “send” button. This company is for the protection of users’ money, and to record the transactions and reconfirm the transaction to be made before finalizing. Likewise, the process of coin exchange is not very complicated either.
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Jenkins was connected to the Coinbase wallet app from where he was buying mining certificates. He stated that he was not able to view his money details, and the application did not explain the reason for signing over full access to his money. The authorities gave their statement that the Coinbase application does hide the necessary details. Further, they had to say that its user interface is not perfect, which caused all the mess. However, they are working order to fix the application. They denied the allegation of fraud on the company.
How Did Jenkins Meet The Person Who Would Soon Rob Him of Thousands of Dollars?
Jenkins is a retired officer who lives on the money that comes from his pension. He is 57 years old, living outside Atlantic city in Absecon. Much of his expenses go into taking care of a 3-year-old nephew.
He is pretty good at catching shady people, the reason he was assigned security in charge in a casino and he never got trapped in a scam. Until Jenkins met a woman with inevitable confidence and attraction, which made Jenkins turn blind in front of her beauty. He lost his money following the words and instructions of the woman called Alice, a 37-year-old woman with a sympathetic ear. It all began with the meeting on an online dating application called Hinge in September. They both got attracted to each other and he matched with her, then they proceeded to have communication via WhatsApp. They used to have regular conversations about their daily activities, life, and family. The attraction got stronger and stronger.
She Pursued Him to Join The CoinBase Wallet Application
After a couple of months, Alice started mentioning the crypto investment, particularly liquidating mining, she stated that it is the most convenient way of making money. She pursues him to invest by stating the high profits and returns people get from this application, along with telling him how safe this platform is because money is in the user’s hands.
He got convinced and asked her for guidance on the procedure in order to operate the application. She told him that he would first have to buy a certificate worth $26, which is not a big deal or a great amount compared to what he is going to earn in the future. Then, after getting the certificate, he could debit the payments to make the profits and earn returns. The banks take decades to return the profits, however, this Coinbase Wallet application makes profits in a couple of days, steadily. She used all the possible tricks and pursuing words to make him believe that this was going to work in his best interest. Jenkins, due to his profession, was pretty smart at dealing with the scams, he could identify them with a sniff. He did research in order to verify the validation of the website and Google confirmed that liquid mining is a valid and authentic website.
He Was Pleasantly Surprised By His Initial Experience
Jenkins hardly makes his living, his monthly mortgage payment is $2000 which he has to cover every month. In order to satisfy his conscience, he bought a Tether for about $4000, worth exactly $1.
He deposited the money and withdrew, and repeated this action a couple of times in order to check whether he had control over his funds. Alice told him that in order to make money worth $2000, he would have to buy $15000 in tether, which would give him a 15 percent monthly return. After the initial experience of moving the money, he started to trust the company that it would not be a scam. He further pursued his family members; his two nephews and a family friend to invest and make profits. After four weeks of joining the company, he was able to invest $15000 in a mining operation.
But Then Jenkins Got Scammed!
Jenkins started making a lot of profits, which made him invest even more. He reached a point where he invested buying $2000 in Tether.
Things were going pretty smoothly till one day when he got a call from his nephew stating that all of his money had disappeared. Jenkins checked his account and saw his money had disappeared too. Thus, he got to know that it was all a trap set by Alice where the amount, more specifically the profit, was an illusion. Further, the mining certificate which Alice asked Jenkins to buy was a way to get him to execute the smart contract through which she could have access to his money. The contract was in binary, computer language which Jenkins could not understand.
Therefore, he could not figure out the scam. Further, the lack of digital media experience, unlike the other scams he had discovered during his work as an officer, did not make him identify the trap being set for him. Jenkins could not realize that he was signing his death contract by granting them permission to access his account to rob him.
He Reached Out To Official Authorities for Help & Assistance
Jenkins tried every possible way to get help from the authorities along with what he had lost. He first contacted Coinbase wallet application operators by the option of a recovery phrase provided on the website. He then messaged Tether, who replied with an apology while stating that they could not help in this case.
Jenkins repeatedly asked the authorities that the withdrawal of $15000, which was in his account, was an unauthorized transaction. However, they stated that they can not interfere because he is bound by a smart contract. The authorities came up with several excuses and irresponsible statements to justify their stance. The authorities also stated that the Coinbase Wallet Application is not a perfect platform with no faults in it. They are working on fixing it, based on the complaints they have received from the users. The Tether authorities claimed to have responded to all the reports, complaints, and issues reported by their users. However, in the case of Jenkins, their hands are tied as they proceed according to law enforcement policies and Jenkins has entered into a smart contract that allows the other party to access his accounts and money.
The money belongs to the thieves now, which made the situation extremely complicated and tough for Jenkins as he pursued his family members to invest it as well. Consequently, his brother did not talk to him for a long time. Thus, he could do nothing but give a review of the bad service provided by the company which he did.
Jenkins, despite being extra conscious of the scam, could not identify the trap set for him. The increasing scam reports have made the digital platform a threat for newcomers, as they are surrounded by scammers. In such a situation recovery companies have been working to provide protection to users along with fighting alongside them till the end. The experts have led many cases and come out as a triumph.
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