I lost $12k to Internet Love scam

Anonymous | 23 Oct 2020

Internet Love Scam
Matched with a "China" guy Zhou Kai through Bumble and thereafter moved the conversation to Telegram (+669841524?? | @zhou123?) and then to Whatsapp (+669889138??). Those were Thailand numbers, he claimed he used to stay at Phuket and was lazy to change the numbers associated with Telegram/Whatsapp.

We chatted fervently from noon to 2am daily via Chinese text/voice messages. He claimed he doesn’t use his phone in mornings as he’s busy with work. He was very ‘attentive’ as he remembered what I’ve said before.

Shortly after, he professed his liking towards me and I noticed he deleted the Bumble app which he claimed he wants to concentrate on someone he likes and urged me to delete the app as well, so he doesn’t have to compete with others.

He mentioned his hobby on blockchain technology, which his university professor introduced. He asked if I’m keen to try i could download the app (https://www.bitfinex3??.com/web/down/hb). I thought the website looked legitimate due to the https.

Later I realized this was a spoof website, whose domain was registered in July 2020, but he has dabbled in this app for a few years.

He was very patient with me and praised me for being smart in following the steps to buy cryptocurrency and transfer to the fake app’s wallet.

Spent $1k on my first investment for the futures trading, which netted in a small profit (the bait) and I was able to withdraw the entire sum back in my bank account.

Looking back, he was very manipulative, cunning, and convincing. For some days he would talk about random lifestyle stuffs, tailored and peppered with sweet nothings without mentioning anything about the investment.

There were some red flags but I had brushed them off since I saw that i was able to encash the profit.

He later convinced me to transfer $6k SGD to the platform (his initial target was $10k) and the trading "earned" $500+ USD. He said I didn’t have to withdraw the funds since the buying/transfer process was tedious.

Few days later, he further pushed me to put in another $6k SGD to the platform, which “earned” $2.5k USD. He claimed his analysis of the data/trends gave him 80% confidence of making profits during good days.

He shared screenshots of his trades (both losses/profits) as well as his holdings on the platform ($156k USD).

I subsequently found his second profile in Bumble and confronted him, where he flared up and claimed I distrusted him, and that his photos were stolen.

I tried to withdraw the money in my account on the fake app, and the system restricted me from withdrawing, stating that they require I trade 100% of whatever funds I have on hand in the same day in order to withdraw. They also suggested I topped up more money to upgrade to VIP level, where there’ll be no restrictions on the withdrawal.

I did not proceed, and I've lost a total of 12k SGD at this point.