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Minnesota man loses $9m in LinkedIn crypto romance scam

minnesota-man-loses-9m-in-linkedin-crypto-romance-scam
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Minnesota man loses $9m in LinkedIn crypto romance scam

A man from Minnesota has fallen prey to a crypto romance scam that has cost him a staggering $9 million.

The scam originated from a LinkedIn connection that lured him with false promises of quick wealth and professed love.

According to reports on Aug. 2, the scam involved instructing the victim to make substantial deposits from his US Bank account into other bank accounts for supposed cryptocurrency investments.

However, instead of investing on the victim’s behalf, the scammers funneled the money into encrypted digital crypto wallets under their control.

The victim was made to believe that he was investing in “Coinrule-web3.” He even witnessed apparent profits, reinforcing his belief in the scheme’s legitimacy. Unfortunately, this was all part of the deception, and the scammers eventually demanded an exorbitant $2.8 million fee to release the alleged windfall.

The situation came to light on June 15 when the victim’s wife alerted the police about her husband liquidating their investment accounts over the past six months. He had even asked her to withdraw all remaining assets to pay the fee, convinced that he could cash in on his crypto funds.

Investigations revealed that “Coinrule-web3” was associated with numerous crypto and romance scams, with one of the banks involved, Metropolitan Commercial Bank of New York City, known for being used in money laundering activities.

Eden Prairie police are working diligently on the case, one of four cryptocurrency fraud investigations they have undertaken this year. However, no further details about the couple or the progress toward apprehending the suspects have been disclosed.

Pig butchering scams target crypto space

This incident is an example of a pig butchering scam, a longer-term fraud where criminals manipulate victims over time before executing the scheme. In this case, the scammer maintained contact with the victim for six months before making off with a substantial sum.

Crypto scams have become prevalent, with criminals exploiting victims’ lack of understanding about the technology to assume positions of authority. Market surges and the belief in quick riches have further fueled these scams.

The FBI had previously warned about crypto scammers operating on LinkedIn. Oscar Rodriguez, the director of trust, privacy, and equity at the social media company, confirmed the recent increase in fraud on their platform to CNBC.