Woman living in motorhome after losing savings in crypto dating scam

A woman has lost $390,000 (£290,000) and is now living in a camper van after falling for a crypto dating scam.

Nicole Hutchinson, from Tennessee, inherited her mother’s house after her death, and she shared the proceeds of $280,000 (£210,000) with her father Melvin.

The money from the sale was intended to help the 24-year-old start a new life with her family in California.

In an effort to make friends after moving to a new town, Hutchinson downloaded a dating app and it was here that she met and befriended a guy called Hao.

The two struck up a friendship, with Hutchinson telling CBS she felt a connection to the man as he claimed he was from the same Chinese town she was adopted from.

Credit: CBS

Hao told Hutchinson he had invested money in cryptocurrency and encouraged her to give it a try.

Since she had never invested any money before, Hutchinson was initially “skeptical”, but says Hoa was able to reassure her that he understood the market well.

He told her to create an account on the legitimate crypto-trading site Crypto.com – but then sent her a new link and told her to transfer money there, explaining that it was a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Hutchinson started small, but was encouraged to start investing larger amounts.

She told CBS: “He kept saying things like, ‘Look at this money that can help support your family. Obviously that’s what I wanted to do. »

And when his account started to turn a profit, Hutchinson then suggested dad Melvin to invest as well.

Within months, their accounts showed a balance of $1.2 million (£900,000) and they decided to withdraw their money.

But before she could get her hands on the cash, she was told she would have to pay a $380,000 (£285,000) tax bill.

It was then that she learned that all the “investments” she had made were not real and that all their money had gone directly to their scammer.

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS

Hutchinson and her father now live in an RV, but decided to share their story as a warning to others.

She said: “I just hope other people don’t have to fall for it.

“So if sharing this story helps that, then I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”

Crypto.com has warned would-be merchants to make sure they’re paying to legitimate accounts, while Hinge told CBS it takes fraud “very seriously” and has trained content moderators who look for evidence of fraud.

According to cryptocurrency scam investigator Rich Sanders, the couple fell victim to a “pig butcher scam.”

He explained to CBS: “The name really comes from fattening before slaughter.”

Sanders said Hutchinson’s money initially went into a real cryptocurrency account, but as soon as she started sending money to the links Hao sent her, she was sending it directly to her digital wallets. .

Comments are closed.