Cryptocurrency scammer bilks $300K from man’s retirement savings

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DENVER (KDVR) — A new wave of cryptocurrency scams targets victims through social media pages, robocalls and even referrals.

Scammers stole more than $3.4 billion last year alone, according to the FBI. Leonid Shteyn told FOX31 that after 30 years in business, he has never seen anyone operate as smoothly as the scammers who robbed him of his retirement savings.

“They took close to $300,000,” he said.

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Shteyn was approached by a man who offered him a chance to make big money investing in cryptocurrency. He said he did not suspect anything because a friend referred him, and the scammer’s payment account was at Bank of America.

The scammers confiscated his funds.

“I couldn’t withdraw my money,” he said.

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The FOX31 Problem Solvers asked tech security expert Donald McLaughlin of CP Cyber about whether losses can be recovered. He warned that, unlike regular transactions, cryptocurrency deals are not insured or regulated.

“If you are scammed and they take the money, it’s gone. There’s nothing the bank can do about it,” he said.

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Most victims are targeted by robocalls and email, but right now social media is turning into a scammer’s playground.

“They will do email, but the biggest push right now is social media. So TikTok, Facebook, Instagram,” McLaughlin said.

Shteyn said he would continue to fight to have his money recovered.

“I lost all of this money. It was devastating,” he said.

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