Lafayette – Miles McQuarrie of Lafayette notes that he was doing what was best for his family.
He invested more than $9000 in a cryptocurrency website. He lost everything and how much was their savings.
“I lost everything we had,” Macquarie said. “suck”.
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital asset and is created by companies or individuals, usually in the form of a virtual currency or token. Digital assets are intangible and usually only exist in electronic form, according to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.
McQueary was brought to cryptocurrency through an ad he saw on social media.
“He’s talking about bitcoin, where you trade from one platform to another and there is a difference in price and you earn that price difference for the amount of bitcoin you have,” McQuarrie said.
McQueary invested in a website called BitXF, also known as Bit-X Financial Corp.
He said he was getting a return on his investment, or at least that’s what the site was offering.
“We’ve shown that we’re making money,” McQuarrie said.
After two weeks of watching his money grow on the website, McQuarrie got into trouble.
“I went through the normal withdrawal procedure to send it back to my encrypted account and it showed a failure of the BitXF account,” McQuarrie said.
McQueary said he had his crypto account blocked and upon contacting BitXF they informed him that he was suspected of violating international anti-money laundering laws.
BitXF asked McQueary to send personal information and more money.
In total, he lost $9062.65.
“They literally took every dollar,” Macquarie said. We had two dollars in our bank account. That’s it. I’ve emailed them, and received no response.
McQueary contact WRTV Investigates for assistance.
We emailed BitXF about Miles’ account and the status of his funds, but “BitXF’s Global Customer Service Team” demanded thousands of dollars from WRTV.
“After reviewing the comments from the department’s system, you just need to continue to deposit $2,368 LTC or BTC for final verification, and your withdrawal authority will be completely unlocked,” the letter reads. Email from BitXF.
The BitXF website claims to be a British Columbia-based company and a “reporting entity” with the British Columbia Securities Commission.
WRTV investigated an audit that found that the British Columbia Securities Commission had no record of BitXF.
“Furthermore, the British Columbia Securities Commission has not been in contact with any crypto-asset exchange or trading platform under this name,” the BCSC said in a statement.
They added BitXF to their investment warning list.
WRTV is investigating a Montreal website for Tim Sewell, CEO and co-founder of Reveal Risk, a Carmel-based cybersecurity consultancy.
Immediately notice the many red flags.
“Customer service is misspelled,” Sewell said. “Usually the right location websites get their hands on.”
Sewell also noted that websites use the word “collateral,” which is impossible with cryptocurrencies, he said.
Sewell said the BitXF server is located in China, but is buried in the fine print of the site.
“This is a warning: If you are in China or the United States, do not participate in the investments,” Sewell said.
BitXF also used professional information on price trends, but Sewell said he was not fooled.
“You can pull it from a hundred different sources at any time, and it’s probably a drag and drop into a web page,” Sewell said. “It’s very easy. There are several ways to clone a legitimate website.
WRTV investigation Kara Kenny Sewell asked if the BitXF website was a scam.
“Based on the website and what we’re seeing here, I’d say it’s close to a 100% chance,” Sewell said.
Miles McQuarrie filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
It’s hot right now,” said Jennifer Adamani, a spokeswoman for BBB Serving Central Indiana. “There is so much confusion around cryptocurrency right now that it really is a breeding ground for scammers to exploit.”
Scammers earned $14 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021, and experts say investing is risky even if you use a legitimate website.
“We are not saying that you should not get involved in cryptocurrency, but with it and any kind of investment, just be very familiar with it,” Adamany said.
As of May 6, BitXF appears to be offline or removed.
Miles McQuarrie admits he should have done more research.
He and his wife started GoFundMe to try to recover the money they had lost.
“It’s very embarrassing, really,” McQuarrie said. Here, my wife thought I was making the right decision. I lost everything we had. Sucks.
You can file a cybercrime complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center here.
BBB Tips to Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams:
- Keep your wallet. If you are buying cryptocurrency, wallet security is critical. If you lose the key, your money will be gone forever.
- Carefully review email addresses and website addresses. Phishing scams often try to trick people into logging in and then getting their login credentials. These can then be used to steal money. Searching for an exchange using an Internet search engine can lead to fake sites that advertise and turn into real companies. Be especially careful when viewing them on the phone.
- Do not pay for products with cryptocurrency. Be careful if someone asks you to pay with bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Nobody in the government ever asks for this kind of payment.
- Beware of fake rescue companies. Fraudulent companies sometimes claim that they can recover stolen funds for free. They are usually scammers.
- Beware of fake reviews. Scammers often create fake reviews of their own business.
- Beware of celebrity endorsements. He may be tempted to rely on a prominent figure investing in cryptocurrency. But these endorsements are often not allowed, and even if they are, the celebrity may be paid for the effort and may not know more than you.
- Watch out for claims made on social media. This is the most common place where people come across investment scams.
- Beware of “friends” who call you on social media and tell you how they made money with cryptocurrency. Accounts are hacked frequently. Call your friend on the phone to see if it’s really him.
- Download apps only from Google Play or the App Store. Trusted app stores don’t eliminate the risk of app scams, but they do provide a basic level of protection. Be careful with applications. Some of them contain malware.
- Don’t believe promises of guaranteed returns. Nobody can guarantee a return on investment.
- Ask for help and support. The Cybercrime Support Network offers a free, confidential support program for romance scam survivors.