FBI investigating after Strongsville man loses $500,000 in cryptocurrency scam

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:57 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A man in Strongsville said he was deceived by someone appearing to be a financial advisor into investing $500,000 into a fake cryptocurrency website.

The FBI is now investigating this case and could not give further details, but they said this scam is a growing problem nationwide.

“The losses in 2021 were over $429 million and in 2022 that figure nearly doubled to about $700 million,” Licate said.

Susan Licate with the FBI in Cleveland said sometimes these scams can start on dating websites where a scammer will build trust with the victim and then convince them to invest into a fake cryptocurrency account.

“When the victim deposits more money, and sometimes even the scammer will bring in a bogus customer service group to put a little more pressure on the victim and they deposit that money and it’s all over from there,” Licate said.

Cryptocurrency is a digital asset, unlike real money, used for trading and investing into digital assets.

Many wonder how it can be so “easy” to fall into this trap. Licate said these scammers can be very deceiving.

“These scammers are really savvy and what they try to do is gain the trust and the confidence from the victim,” Licate said. “They usually urge you to act now, act fast. Again, it’s built on that romance and that promise of trust me I know what I’m doing. I can help you we will make some money.”

If you think you could be a victim, you can report it to the FBI.