A man from Northwest England man lost over $700,000 worth of Bitcoin after falling prey to an alleged investment scam advertised on YouTube.
44-year-old Naveed Saghir, who operates his own home cinema business, told the BBC in an interview that he was tricked into handing over Bitcoin and cash by fraudsters posing as agents for a convincing fake investment company.
“I was watching videos on YouTube, saw an advert offering the chance to invest in stocks and shares and filled in a form requesting more information.
The next day I got a call from someone who called themselves a customer service agent and paid £250 to start trading.
The day after I was called again, this time by someone who described themselves as my account manager and given a username and password for an extremely convincing trading website.”
Saghir made several payments to the con artists starting in May, each time being lured back by promises of big returns, and eventually, assurances of recovering his mounting losses.
By the end of August, he’d given them the equivalent of $25,000 in cash and 14.25 BTC, worth about $707,000 at time of writing.
According to a recent report from blockchain insights firm Chainalysis, Western Europe sends the most amount of crypto to illicit addresses than any region in the world. The report says that the vast majority of the funds being sent are related to scams, while some relate to things like darknet markets or terrorism financing