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Canberra couple warns others after losing $60,000 in Bitcoin investment scam

Glynis Quinlan4 July 2019
Tarragona, Spain - February 26, 2018: Closeup of a young man having a bitcoin from a pile of bitcoins while is using a computer

A young Canberra couple are warning others after losing $60,000 in an elaborate Bitcoin investment scam.

A young Canberra couple have been ‘financially ruined’ after falling victim to an elaborate overseas Bitcoin investment scam which has cost them around $60,000.

Despite their hardship and urgent search for work to pay the bills, Josie and Nick Yeomans have bravely shared their story as a way of warning others about the increasingly sophisticated nature of investment scams.

Normally astute in financial and online matters, the Yeomans were taken in by an intricate ruse which regularly paid out the expected returns and did not unravel until June this year – more than a year after their first investment.

Nick said he had been following the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency sphere for quite some time before he was told about coinexx.org by an online contact who said he was the acting CEO of the company.

Nick describes the investment opportunity as being a bit like making a term deposit except that you paid in Bitcoin (which the company mined and traded in) and the returns were much greater.

Nick said he started by investing US$1,000 for a six-month term with 10 per cent interest per week, which you received at the end of the six months.

With the promised returns so high, Nick said he was wary that the investment scheme could be a scam right from the beginning. He decided to only invest a small amount of money and see what happened.

The Yeomans had their own account and could log in every day to get updates on their investment, as well as receiving regular contact from the acting CEO. At the end of the six months they made US$2,600 on top of their original deposit. They withdrew some of the money and rolled some of it over into a new term deposit.

“You think, if it seems too good to be true it probably is – until they pay you,” said Nick. “It’s very hard not to believe when it’s money in your pocket.”

The Yeomans were told that if they invested significantly more money then they could withdraw funds every month rather than waiting for six months. They decided to invest US$15,000 and so too did a close friend who had become interested in the opportunity.

The following month they withdrew around $11,000 and said that everything continued to appear aboveboard and as had been agreed.

“We had log in details and every day and every week the amount got updated,” said Josie.

“We had no reason whatsoever to not believe this was a legitimate company,” said Nick.

“I went into it thinking it was a scam but when they paid you again and again and built a relationship with you over time it insidiously works into your life.”

Things were going so well for the Yeomans that Nick decided to leave his public service job so that he could spend more time on the online businesses they were building, as well as with their two young children.

How things unravelled

However, earlier this year things started to unravel. The Yeomans were offered the opportunity to change to making withdrawals every two months (rather than monthly) so that they could get higher interest but when the two months were up they found it hard to get hold of their funds.

They were told that some new regulations had been introduced in England (where the investment company was supposedly based) and they would need to pay fees to help the company meet its obligations.

The Yeomans were starting to get behind on bills and had already taken out another small loan to pay some of the money needed, but were now faced with continual delays in getting hold of their money.

Their original contact seemed to have disappeared and the Yeomans were continually given more reasons for why they could not receive their funds – along with requests for new amounts to overcome the problems.

In the end, when all sources of funding seemed exhausted, they were sent a message from a customer service person they had been dealing with to let them know the whole thing was a scam and that they were not going to get their money back.

‘These scams are unbelievably intricate’

NBN scam alert

Nick and Josie hope what happened to them will be a warning to others.

The Yeomans were left “absolutely distraught” by the news and have estimated that they have lost around $60,000 through the scam.

“The whole thing has ruined us – we’ve got no savings, we’re in debt,” said Nick.

“The life that we had basically is completely destroyed and we just have to keep our heads above water.”

Nick said he is looking to go back to work and has applied for about 60 jobs. In the meantime, he has started lawn-mowing and the Yeomans are selling anything of value that they can.

Josie is also looking to go back to work during school hours and has started doing some house-cleaning in the meantime.

The Yeomans estimate that it will take them 18 months to two years before they can get back on their feet financially – but they are intent on getting there.

Nick and Josie hope what happened to them will be a warning to others about how elaborate investment scams can be.

“These scams are so unbelievably intricate for them to drag you along for over a year,” said Nick.

Josie urged people looking to invest to be wary of dealing with an overseas company and to make sure they do more extensive vetting – or better yet, to learn how to invest for themselves and do their own trading.

$18.5 million lost to investment scams this year

Scamwatch say Australians have lost $18.5 million in investment scams in the months until 31 May this year.

An ACCC spokesperson told Region Media that between 1 January and 31 May 2019, Scamwatch received almost 2,000 reports of investment scams, with over $18.5 million in losses. Last year, investment scams cost Australians $86 million in losses.

“Cryptocurrency investment scams are an increasing problem in Australia. Reports of losses to ‘Investments scams’ mentioning ‘crypto’, ‘bitcoin’ or ‘btc’ to 31 May 2019 already exceed those for the entirety of 2018.” The ACCC spokesperson said that these losses totalled $6.06 million.

“Sophisticated investment scams can present professional-looking websites and trading platforms,” the spokesperson said.

“Some will even allow you to withdraw small amounts of money to increase their appearance of legitimacy – before locking your account and stealing your money when you attempt to withdraw larger amounts.”

For more information on protecting yourself against scams please click here.

Original Article published by Glynis Quinlan on The RiotACT.

What's Your Opinion?

8 Responses to Canberra couple warns others after losing $60,000 in Bitcoin investment scam

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A Sempai at ksk A Sempai at ksk 1:08 pm 06 Jul 19

So sorry Nick, feel really bad

    bouvier yven bouvier yven 11:49 am 11 Sep 20

    Please beware there are many fake cryptocurrrency investment platforms out there, I got scammed twice before I met a genius hacker who helped retrieve my bitcoin. The whole plan was so smooth I could not doubt it. Bitcoin is actually a great investment option but one thing I discovered over time is that it is not possible to mine bitcoin so don’t be deceived. I invested 15BTC on a particular website called FoxBtc.io, I monitored the profit yielding but got locked out of the account before I could withdraw. I went online and met this recovery expert at [email protected], com who helped me retrieve my bitcoins back in few hours. He saved my life , he can save yours.

Alvarez Gonzalez Alvarez Gonzalez 9:19 am 05 Sep 19

I deeply sympathize with Nick. I recently recovered my principle losses. Great regards to wealthwatchs, com  —  a leading financial intelligence who guided me on steps to take on getting my money back.

Carole Hénaff Carole Hénaff 10:53 pm 24 Jun 20

It is terrible, sorry nick. Birman law or most of these recovery companies can’t be of help. You need to either venture into the darknet and get a trusted hacker or reach out to petru at hackwithme. tech. You’ll be surprised how things are done from that side of the internet. I got 2.9btc back in no time, gave him his share and it was an amazing feeling.

Stephanie Coetzee Stephanie Coetzee 1:00 am 05 Mar 21

Can the victims of scam get their money back? Yes, if you have fallen victim to scam from an unregulated investment platform or any scam at ll then are eligible to recover what was stolen from you and this can only happen if this is reported to the right people. With the right approach and with evidence, you will get what you lost back. Those behind these unregulated platforms will likely want to sell the idea that what happened to your investment was an unfortunate occurrence when in reality what happened was theft via elaborate means. If you are a victim or you know any one who is a victim of these occurrences, you should know there are people who can help you. Simply search ( c o r e c r y p t o t e c h- c r y p t o c u r r e n c y r e c o v e r y ) on google just the way it is in that bracket. It is never too late if you have the right information, your sanity can be restored.

Barry Orn Barry Orn 9:23 pm 09 Mar 21

Losses to scam are products of mistakes and we all make mistakes. The important part is what we do afterwards, the decisions we make make will either move us forward or hold us back. I lost after investing in investment scam, luckily I was able to recover my funds with the help of a credible group. There are comments everywhere in the testimonial page of their website. Talk to their team via financialspringrecovery .tech
Send a message to their contact email. Best of luck

Barkat Khan Barkat Khan 9:33 am 03 Apr 21

Scammers tend to always have a good background story to tell you to make you invest in their platforms. I lost over 200k to TRADER XP but I reached out to chargeitbacks and they helped me get my money back.
So,If you have ever been scammed or you know someone that has been scammed, chargeitbacks.com will get the money back. They are a recovery team that specialize in funds recovery, be it cryptocurrency , bitcoin, forex, catfish/romance scam.

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