A resident of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, recently became a victim of a cryptocurrency romance scam, losing a staggering $9.2 million. This incident has caught the attention of local authorities, as it is the largest crypto-related scam they have ever encountered.
According to reports, the man started conversing with a mysterious woman on LinkedIn. She convinced him to invest in a dubious cryptocurrency project called “Coinrule-web3,” promising quick riches and the opportunity to leave his current relationship. Blinded by the allure of wealth and love, the man ended up transferring $9.2 million through 21 transactions between December 2022 and June 2023.
Unfortunately, when the man attempted to withdraw his funds, he was asked to pay millions of dollars in fees. This raised suspicions for his wife, who alerted the police about the suspicious investment accounts her husband had been liquidating for the past six months.
Law enforcement agents launched an immediate investigation and discovered that “Coinrule-web3” was connected to multiple romance scams. Additionally, one of the banks involved in the transactions had a history of money laundering cases. This case is unprecedented for the Eden Prairie police, who had only investigated four similar frauds this year.
The investigation also revealed that the mysterious woman had embezzled the funds and transferred them into encrypted crypto wallets, making it impossible for anyone else to access the money. The police have not disclosed whether they have identified any suspects or plan to make any arrests.
This incident sheds light on the rising popularity of crypto romance scams, where individuals fall in love with unknown individuals who later exploit them financially through digital assets. In the United States alone, victims lost $185 million to these types of scams between January 2021 and March 2022. However, this issue is not limited to the US, as cases have been reported worldwide, including a British man losing $200,000 worth of bitcoin and an elderly resident of Nottinghamshire transferring a significant amount to a fraudster posing as a US Army surgeon.
The Minnesota man’s heartbreaking experience serves as a stark reminder to exercise caution and skepticism when engaging in online relationships involving financial transactions. It is crucial to thoroughly research and verify the legitimacy of any investment opportunity before committing funds.