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Devious Bitcoin Thieves Steal Life Savings of 82-Year-Old British Victim

Devious Bitcoin Thieves Steal Life Savings of 82-Year-Old British Victim

Coincheck Lending Bitcoin Interest

An independent consumer watchdog has highlighted the case of an 82-year-old victim losing all her life savings in a bitcoin-related scam. | Source: Shutterstock

By An 82-year-old British woman has spoken out about her “seven months of hell” after bitcoin thieves stole “all her money.”

Speaking to Which?, she said:

“It was seven months of hell. I had to pick up odd jobs just to survive – they took all my money. I couldn’t stop crying for months and I absolutely never cry.”

Johanna Butt fell victim to a bitcoin scam on Facebook that promised returns of $13,000 per day. After agreeing to a small £300 ($396) initial investment with “Bitcoin Loophole,” the hackers drained her account of £8,500 ($11,224).

bitcoin loophole scame

The Bitcoin Loophole scam website that tricked 82 year old Johanna Butt, promising $13,000 daily returns.

Bitcoin Scams: Ignore Shady Celebrity Adverts

The 82-year old was intrigued after seeing an advert on Facebook featuring renowned British investor and millionaire Deborah Meaden. Meaden is a star on Dragon’s Den, the UK’s version of Shark Tank.

The endorsement was, of course, fake, as confirmed by Meaden herself on Twitter. 

Fake ads using Dragons Den and myself as clickbait then directing to a Bitcoin site are a scam. Don’t click or it feeds the ugly and DEF don’t give them money.

— Deborah Meaden (@DeborahMeaden) April 4, 2018

But it was enough to trick Johanna Butt who clicked on the advert. She later spoke to a salesman from scam site Bitcoin Loophole.

“The man I spoke to was extremely plausible. Over the course of two hours he explained to me how it all worked, how they made me money and what was in it for them. He didn’t pressure me into investing but made it sound all so sensible – he even asked how I’d spend the money I’d make. I told him I’d like to go on a nice holiday.”

“The thought of it makes me feel physically sick”

This isn’t the first time fake celebrity endorsements have tricked unsuspecting bitcoin investors. The founder of Britain’s largest personal finance website, Martin Lewis, has repeatedly warned his followers about the fake use of his name and image to promote bitcoin scams.

These scams are nothing to do with bitcoin. They are just scams.

My view on bitcoin (though a little old now) are here…

— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) January 17, 2019

“Sadly we’ve already heard of people who’ve lost over £20,000. The thought of that makes me feel physically sick. I’ve spent my career trying to campaign for financial justice and now these b*****ds leach off that trust to rob vulnerable people.”

Bitcoin Scams: A Billion Dollar Problem

According to some Twitter users, the same scam was still being circulated months later on social media.

Months after your tweet, I can’t believe this is still going on?

— Richard Bennett (@DickieBendicks) October 28, 2018

A recent CipherTrace report concluded that $725 million was lost to cryptocurrency scams in 2018 alone. Ponzi schemes, fraudulent ICOs, and celebrity scams like Bitcoin Loophole are still rampant, despite the declining interest in bitcoin.

2018 was also a record year for hacks with $1 billion stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges. Earlier this year, one California engineer lost $420,000 in life savings in the QuadrigaCX debacle.

The best advice to avoid a similar scam? Do your own research, trust only reputable bitcoin companies, and ideally store cryptocurrency in your own cold storage wallet. Most important of all, if something seems too good to be true (like the promise of $13,000 gains per day) it probably is.

About The Author

Ben Brown

Ben is a journalist with a decade of experience covering financial markets. His writing has appeared in The Huffington Post and he worked at Block Explorer, the world’s longest-running source of Blockchain data.

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