I lost $4,000 to an investment scam

Anonymous | 09 Jan 2022

Investment Scam Investment Scam
Connected with ‘Hayden’ (Taiwanese who has worked in HK before and is working in SG now) on the Hinge app in early Dec. We moved to Telegram on the same day and he deleted his profile the next day (RF). We talked on Telegram for 2 weeks, in English and Chinese, before he introduced me to the fake/spoofed crypto trading website. I brought up the topic of meeting physically and/or video call but he would declined by saying that he wants to take it slow/changed the topic(RF).

I caught him using fake photos(catfish!) and info since his words often didn’t match his Hinge profile (RF). He admitted it and told me he has trust issues with people because of his broken family and experiences and I was dumb to accept it for that hit my sore spot.

We temporarily ended the convo in Week 3, but he still Telegram me a few days later to ‘invest’ again. I trusted his “investment advice” because of his financially savvy image portrayed during our investment discussion.

Some other Red Flags(RF) about the platform:
1) Weird weblinks (ending with .xyz) that was changed every few days. One of them even triggered Chrome to show that it is a phishing website.
2) The mobile app by “Oriental Wealth”, a fake company with fake logo. User interface quite suspicious with broken English and invalid webpages(e.g. user agreement page).
3) Informed by “Customer Service” (CS) on Whatsapp(HK#) to transfer money to some personal bank accounts (most likely job scam victims), which changed whenever I deposited into the “trading account”.

4) Platform has options to ‘invest’ in 60s(min.$100HKD), 120s($1000HKD) and 12hrs settings. Longer period need more capital($) and can generate more ‘profit’(Online betting!!!)

5) He will ‘analyse’ the BTC chart and calculate the amount($) for me to key in into the website/app (buy long/short) for each ‘trade’, based on his special algorithm.
I started with $500SGD and $2000SGD with the 60s setting for the first 2 tries and got back the capital with the ‘profits’ in my bank account by the next day.
I pumped in $4kSGD next and ‘traded’ a few rounds and stopped when he said the “market was volatile”. Those few rounds didn’t “meet the minimum transaction volume” and they didn’t approve my withdrawal request.

I told him about it, and he persuaded met to try the 120s option to get more profit. Since he will “cover” the additional $6kSGD by informing the CS that he topped up the “trading ID”, I relented. This time, the profits ballooned to around $30kSGD.

I checked with CS a few days later when the money wasn’t in and they directed me to ‘service department”, whom informed me that my account was frozen due to the large foreign transaction and need to pay 15% of the withdrawal amount in 10 days or forfeit that $(profit+capital)(RF). I checked online (scamalert website etc) and finally accepted that I’ve been scammed.

So, please don’t be greedy and do your research first!!!