Facebook Bitcoin Scam: Lover conned woman out of £80,000 this way; Know how to stop it – HT Tech

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Cybercrimes have spread their tentacles everywhere and that includes social networking sites! Yes, along with everything else, fraud too has moved online. In recent times many reports have detailed how people are being scammed over social networking sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, among others. These scams are not limited to any specific place or country and in fact, cases are being reported from all over the world. The latest case is from the UK, where a woman has been scammed out of £80,000. Here is how this Facebook Bitcoin scam was carried out and how to avoid such cryptocurrency based crimes.
“Brit Sharon Bulmer was swindled out of thousands after a fraudster sent her a Facebook message saying he was “lonely” in May 2020,” reported The Sun. The scammer used photos of a European politician dubbed “silver fox” to trick her out of her money. As per the report, the fraudster used a fake Facebook profile with a photo of Latvian defence minister Artis Pabriks and said that he was a US soldier posted in Syria. The scamster, who claimed to be Murphy Townsend, a 56-year-old man from Washington DC with a teenage daughter, had told Sharon that he was serving in Raqqa, Syria.
After Sharon responded positively to his overtures, the fraudster started asking her for money and that too through cryptocurrency Bitcoin. He said that the money was required for hospital bills and plane tickets. She discovered later that he was a fraudster, but by that time she had given him tens of thousands of pounds. This is not the first time that a fraudster has used the fake ‘silver fox’ Facebook profile and photo to scam people. Authorities in Latvia say they are aware of more than 100 phoney profiles using photo of Pabriks to scam women.
The Latvian Defence Office said that they have reported the profiles and they have been facing this situation for a long time.
Speaking of the incident, the 51-year-old Sharon said that she did it all for love.
How she found out that he was a fraudster is by doing something that she should have done right at the beginning- she contacted the US Army and asked them whether they have a Murphy Townsend on their rolls. They confirmed there was no such person in the US army.
The woman informed that Murphy did not like her questioning him at all and always kept all information about himself secret. She knew almost nothing about him even after giving him so much money in an ‘affair’ that lasted over two-and-a-half years. She lost nearly £80,000 in the relationship for what he claimed were hospital bills and plane tickets. And now she is £37,000 in debt.
Seeing the rising number of online frauds via Facebook and other social networking sites, people should not do:
Accept friend requests from unknown people
Not share important details with them like your financial status, address, bank details
Under no circumstances transfer money to anyone they have not met
Ask detailed questions about their identity, family, profession and verify each aspect thoroughly
Never transfer money in the form of cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Crypto transfers cannot be traced and that is why fraudsters ask for it
Always keep long distance relationships at an arm’s length. Allowing feelings to dictate your behaviour can only cause trouble. In short, verify, verify, verify.
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