operates a scam-based cryptocurrency exchange hosted on a Japanese server. It is likely run by someone from China or with a strong understanding of the Chinese language and grammar.

This scam begins on dating websites, prominently being Tinder and will often move to WhatsApp once they’ve started chatting regularly. The girl will portray to be a crypto broker/ make her money in cryptocurrency and happy to show you how to do the same. They will direct you to a fraudulent trading platform with different account levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

It will show large profits although once you try to withdraw the funds, this is when the problems start. They will often ask you to pay a tax or say you need to pay to upgrade to the next level before you can withdraw. The funds will never be returned to you and is a last attempt to get more money out of you.

Website URL’s used by the scam:

Romance Fraud

This type of investment fraud is commonly known as a “romance” scam and is usually carried out by professional con artists, confident tricksters and fraudsters who use fake names and fake social media profiles to mask their real locations and identities, whilst professing their affection and emotionally manipulating their victims. Often the fraudsters will use photographs and other media stolen from compromised social media accounts to fabricate their persona.

The money taken is never used for the purposes described and is immediately stolen and laundered through “laundering agents”. Some of these people are innocent romance-scam victims themselves, while others are “bankers” who take a commission for moving the money around the world, ultimately ending up either in cash, luxury assets, or in the personal accounts of the masterminds.

The romance scam industry is successful because of the emotional manipulation and cross-border nature of this type of fraud. Many of the groups and suspects involved in this fraudulent activity are based in Eastern Europe, Africa and Turkey.

Next steps for victims of this scam

If you have been targeted by the scam, it’s important to follow the below steps immediately:

  • Do not invest any more money.
  • Report your fraud via the Australian Cyber Security Centre fraud reporting portal as soon as possible.
  • Submit an investment fraud enquiry to IFW Global to discover what we can do to recover your assets.

Working with legal experts who specialise in cross-border fraud and asset recovery in foreign jurisdictions, IFW Global utilises advanced surveillance and investigation methods to combat cybercrime and track down victims’ money. Learn more about our Asset Recovery and Cryptocurrency Tracing services today.

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