A WOMAN who lost over £12,000 in a cryptocurrency scam has warned others to not make the same mistakes she did.
Angelica Lopez, from Ruislip, London, thought she was investing in a legitimate company who promised her she’d make money on her investments.
At one stage she claims she spoke to the “CEO of the company” who reassured her it was all above board.
The company’s website also convinced her that her investment was legitimate.
Angelica then paid £12,470.50 in instalments and began to see money accumulate in her account.
At one stage she was happy enough with the steady profit and asked to withdraw some of her investment only to be told she would have to pay a fee.
Each time she asked to take money out the fee increased before Angelica was eventually told she couldn’t withdraw her money because her bank wasn’t properly registered with the cryptocompany.
Concerned by this, Angelica contacted Santander who advised her she had been scammed and to stop making payments.
The company still continues to message her asking her to continue investing in the scam.
Angelica is now seeking to recover the losses with legal advice from firm Angelus Law.
Martin McKenna, legal operations manager at Angelus Law, explained: “Angelica Lopez is in a situation which many people find themselves in. Criminal activity in relation to fraud and complex scams are increasing.
“Well meaning and vulnerable people are being taken advantage of and incurring substantial losses.
“Banks share a responsibility to protect their customers and act in a manner which should be expected from an ordinary prudent banker.
“Some banks have been slow to protect their customers from convincing scams. It is vital that we protect innocent people from being put in difficulties as a consequence of the actions of others.”
A Santander spokesperson said: “We have the utmost sympathy for all those who fall victim to the criminals who perpetrate these scams.
“We provide customers with clear warnings about scams across all our banking channels before they make a payment and have comprehensive fraud prevention systems in place to protect them.
“Where customers do fall victim to a scam, we are part of a voluntary industry reimbursement code. We would strongly urge everyone to verify who they are investing with before making payments.”
How to protect yourself against cryptocurrency scams
You can protect yourself from scams by being aware of red flags to look out for.
Action Fraud has shared some tips to avoid falling for a fraudulent scheme.
Don’t assume the investment scheme is real, even if it has a professional-looking website, adverts or social media posts.
You should take your time before making decisions, and don’t feel pressured into making a decision.
“A genuine bank or financial organisation won’t force you to part with your money on the spot,” Action Fraud said.
“Always be wary if you’re pressured to invest quickly or promised returns that sound too good to be true.”
If you’re thinking about making an investment, get independent advice and thoroughly research the company first.
It comes after a 77-year-old widower said that he lost his home and his life savings in a crypto scam.
And earlier this month, X Factor star Fleur East revealed how she blew her cash on a dodgy cryptocurrency deal.
How to spot crypto scams
CRYPTO scams are popping up all over the internet. We explain how to spot them.
- Promises of a high or guaranteed return – Does the offer look realistic? Scammers often attract money by making fake promises.
- Heavy marketing and promotional offers – If they are using marketing tricks to con customers you should beware.
- Unamed or non-existent team members – Just like any business you should be easily able to find out who is running it.
- Check the whitepaper – Every crypto firm should have a white paper. This should explain how it plans to grow and make money. If this doesn’t make sense, then it could be because the founders are trying to confuse you.
- Do your research – Check reviews online and Reddit threads to see what other people think.