Man Lose $400,000 To Bitcoin Scam

Kevin Barraclough, 67, inherited a small fortune when his mother died and thought he would invest it to give the profits back to the community groups he supported.

“I wanted to scoop the money off [the top] and give it to the poor,” he said.

“It was about investing to help other people.”

While scrolling through Facebook late one night Mr Barraclough said he stumbled across a site offering him the chance to make millions of dollars on bitcoin.

He said he typed in his name and phone number “out of curiosity”.

Within half an hour he got a phone call from overseas from a man saying he wanted to do business, and it would only cost him $250.

Mr Barraclough said he foolishly handed over his email address and bank account details to a person he did not know.

“They seemed very convincing, they seemed very personal, very caring,” he said.

“They said, ‘You need to trust in us’, but thinking back now, in hindsight, I can see how foolish I was to trust a voice on the phone.”

An initial $250 transaction was made on February 13 last year, but when Mr Barraclough tried a week later to access his Visa Westpac account it was blocked.

He was called into his local branch in southern Sydney and was told two suspicious transactions of $1,490.39 each were attempted.

Mr Barraclough discussed the transactions with a bank representative who told him the bank believed the transactions were genuine.

The block on his account was removed which gave Mr Barraclough the green light to make dozens

The next transaction on March 2 was for $7,773.62.

Between April 3 and May 15, Mr Barraclough made a total of 43 transactions for bitcoin via companies with names including Veritex.io, Bluesnow.ou, Simplex-Elastum and Simplex-Bitstamp.

He lost almost all the money, totalling $451,397.41.

According to his brother Alan, Mr Barraclough is a vulnerable, single man living alone who lacks the capacity to assess misinformation and is easily taken advantage of.

He has no expertise in bitcoin trading.

Allan wants to know why his brother did not get a stronger warning from the bank and why more thorough checks were not carried out.

A simple Google search reveals Veritex is based in Estonia and is commonly suspected to be linked to internet scams.

The same applies for Bluesnow, Simplex-Elastum and Simplex-Bitstamp.

 

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