- Report shows how Linkedin users lost $288k to crypto scammer.
- The scammer used a decoy by first directing the user to invest in a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange app, crypto.com.
- LinkedIn removed over 32 million fake accounts from its platform in 2021.
Mei Mei Soe, a Florida benefits manager, lost her entire life savings of $288,000 to a Bitcoin scammer on LinkedIn. This revelation came via a Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) report on June 17, 2022.
Soe said someone who posed as a manager at a Los Angeles fitness company connected with her last December. She was intrigued by his offer to help her make money by showing her how he makes money himself from cryptocurrency.
Soe noted the scammer won her trust over time as they talked. The scammer used a decoy by first directing her to invest in a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange app, crypto.com.
She started with $400, and the fraudster later convinced her to move her crypto to a site he controlled. Over several months, Soe invested with bank loans and money borrowed from friend’s hoping to use her earnings to start a small business. By the time she realized it, the scammer had disappeared.
Once I realized I had been scammed, I tried to contact him but couldn’t find him anywhere. I work hard, and every single dollar I save, I work hard to save. It hurts.
Soe’s experience, unfortunately, is a common occurence. Other victims who chose to remain anonymous have losses ranging from $200,000 to $1.6 million. They said they never thought such malicious intent could be behind a LinkedIn profile.
However, LinkedIn cautioned users about responding or sending money to people they don’t know or people with questionable work history. The platform dismissed over 32 million fake accounts in 2021. Likewise, its automated defenses flagged 11.9 million accounts at the registration point and 127,000 reported fake profiles.