Melbourne Couple Lost Nearly $1 Million Of Their Retirement Savings In A Massive Crypto Scam

  • Cryptocurrency scams stole over $80 million from Australians last year.
  • Many scammers have found elderly investors to be an easy target.

The cryptocurrency industry is no stranger to scams. As careful as some consumers are, there are still plenty of people who have succumbed and lost a fortune. One elderly couple in Melbourne, Australia became tied into a cryptocurrency scam that lost them more than a few hundred dollars. In fact, they lost their entire savings for retirement, according to 7NEWS and The Next Web’s Hard Fork.

The couple – Mike and Karen Taylor – visited a fake cryptocurrency trading website, despite appearing to be the real thing. When they first visited the website, their investment – worth $900,000 – came back with great returns. That return was all it took for the couple to continue their trading, but the entire investment was gone within a few months.

Speaking with 7NEWS in Australia, Taylor said, “That was the whole of our superannuation – that’s now gone.” Taylor, a former bus driver, is now back to work at 70 years old. He also has had to sell his 1965 Pontiac as well.

Unfortunately, this couple’s story is nothing new, and there are many other people in Australia that are being targeted by scammers that are running off with insane amounts of money. The public has been warned to avoid “get rich quick” schemes, though the elderly investors in Australia have been a big target.

Scammers in Australia managed to collect $86 million last year, primarily from elderly Australians. This year, those losses have increased by 32% this year, and 2,300 people in Australia have already become victims of this con.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said,

“The ACCC is incredibly concerned about the rising number of people who are falling victim to all types of scams, including investment scams.”

In the way that cryptocurrencies are set up, there are three main traits that make dealing with fraud a rather arduous process –

  1. Transactions cannot be reversed, so the funds cannot be forced back into the account of the victim.
  2. The network is decentralized, which means that banks and government institutions have no control over it or the ongoing transactions.
  3. Cryptocurrency transactions can be anonymous, which makes identifying the owner of a wallet rather difficult.

With these concerns in mind, the Reserve Bank of Australia states state an environment with global or national acceptance of cryptocurrency is “difficult to envisage.”

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