Jersey Resident Loses Over $1.5 Million in Bitcoin Scam

A cryptocurrency investor has reportedly lost his life-savings after falling for a scam involving Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency. The victim, who’s a resident of Jersey, an autonomous region and monarchy affiliated with (but not part of) the UK, was targeted by scammers who allegedly stole £1.2 million (appr. $1.58 million) from him.

Scammers Target Victim Over 18-Month Period

This, according to local news outlet the Jersey Evening Post, which noted that the fraudsters targeted the Jersey resident over an 18-month period. During this period, the victim was reportedly told he would receive as much as a 15x return on his initial investment.

As detailed by local news sources, the victim was first approached by the scammers when he visited a fraudulent Bitcoin-related website (created by the criminals). The unsuspecting investor lost all of his savings as he was reportedly misled into believing that he would earn large returns on his investments.

“Unlikely” Funds Will Be Recovered

After the Jersey resident handed over £1.2 million to the criminals, he never received the returns he was promised. According to the UK’s National Crime Agency, it is now highly unlikely the victim will be able to recover the funds he lost. Moreover, the gang responsible for the financial crime had claimed to be based in Norway.

However, authorities investigating the matter said they were able to track various transactions the offenders conducted between bank accounts in several different countries. In order to warn the residents of the region, the Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum has recommended they remain “extra vigilant.”

“Well-Known UK Company Names Used” To Mislead Victim

Other details from the incident report revealed the scammers contacted the victim through email and telephone, right after the Jersey resident visited their crypto-related website. A representative at the Jersey Financial Services Commission confirmed:

The victim was engaged for over an 18-month period and they were able to build trust prior to getting the victim to send the greater amounts.

The representative added: 

[The victim was] made to believe that the returns would be 15 times the investment amount and the criminals were using well-known UK company names to convince them. The requests for further funds were allegedly in relation to taxes and fees which were imposed in the foreign jurisdictions where the original monies were sent.