Three Australian families have given a personal look into the dangers and impacts of cryptocurrency scams being run by global syndicates and targeting vulnerable Australians.
In a harrowing episode of the ABCs 7.30, IFW Chairman Ken Gamble told reporters he is in the process of building a case against the scammers. “We have to demonstrate how the fraud works and where the fraud is and how the fraud has been perpetrated. Once we have that evidence in a presentable format, we will go to law enforcement in multiple countries and we will have those people arrested.”
Australian Families Targeted
Across three stories, the report demonstrated the various ways scammers have been targeting victims.
Queensland couple Emma, 25, and Hugo, 24, were called by someone posing as an investment manager from Irish brokerage Druid ICAV. Using a fake trading platform that mirrored real world events, and encouraged by regular phone calls advising them to make further investments, the couple lost a total of $110,000.
A 45 year old father who emigrated from Poland when he was 15 was also targeted, losing $457,000 through a series of progressively larger investments into Bitcoin along with pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer via the investment company StocksCM. The scammers manipulated him through the rise and fall of his investments on a fake trading platform, eventually convincing him to invest a sum of $100,000 to recover his supposed millions in losses.
In a third story, Melanie, a woman in her 40s battling multiple sclerosis for over 20 years, was scammed out of her $50,000 inheritance. Claiming to be from her bank, a man calling himself Peter said there was a security breach that needed to be resolved, and installed remote software on her phone. The scammers proceeded to create a fake account with crypto investment platform CoinSpot to transfer funds from her bank account.
Little Recourse for Australian Victims
IFW Global’s Ken Gamble said Australians are particularly vulnerable to targeting by scammers due to the lack of capability our law enforcement has to chase down the perpetrators.
“The scammers are very successful when they target Australians.
“One of the other major reasons is that our law enforcement bodies don’t go after these groups.”
The Australian Federal Police’s Cybercrime Commander Chris Goldsmid said that they are working harder to fight back against scammers.
“A lot of this activity does originate from offshore, which is why we are doing things like expanding our cybercrime liaison network offshore, so we can take the fight to criminals offshore.”