May 30, 2024

Creve Coeur man loses thousands in crypto-investment scam

In a short amount of time the man thought he had turned his $90,000 investment into more than $2.5 million, but he was unable to withdraw any money.

CREVE COEUR, Mo. — Multiple agencies are investigating an internet scam that cost one area man thousands.

He’s sharing his story in an effort to raise awareness after learning an expensive lesson.

After years of playing the stock market on his own, a Creve Coeur, Missouri, man decided to get a little help with what he thought would be the next wave of investing.

“I was interested in artificial intelligence because that’s the up-and-coming technology,” the anonymous victim said.

Using social media, he was directed to what he thought was an online class using Elon Musk’s Quantum AI technology to predict the stock market.

“For the most part, his stock recommendations were accurate,” the victim said. “Then he said the stock market was going to crash, or going to come down, and he suggested we sell all of our investments.”

The instructor told all 500 people in the “class” to move their money into a crypto exchange.

“He was introducing something called contract trading, which is kind of like day trading,” the man said. “You buy and then sell. It could last 5 minutes, it could last 30 minutes, it could last a couple of hours.”

In a short amount of time, the man thought he had turned his $90,000 investment into more than $2.5 million, but he was told there were issues preventing him from making a withdrawal.

“The only way for you to guarantee you’re going to get the money out on time is to apply for VIP status,” said the anonymous victim.  “How much is VIP status? $50,000.  Can I use my winnings?  Oh no.  You have to wire $50,000 to them.”

“This is what I would call a crypto-investment scam,” said Better Business Bureau International Investigations Specialist Brian Edwards.  “You should never have to pay money to get money.”

Brian Edwards, an International Investigation Specialist with the BBB, says this is a new twist on an old scam where people are enticed with a combination of celebrity, cash, and urgency to fork over their money.

“These scams are originating all over the world and people should be wary of that,” Edwards said.

The app has since been removed from both the Apple and Google app stores.

“We’re always urging caution with these types of things because once the money is gone, the money is gone,” said Edwards.

For more information on crypto-investment scams, click here.

If you believe you’re a victim of a crypto-investment scam, click here.

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