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Expert explains how to avoid growing Bitcoin scams as woman loses £40k

Expert explains how to avoid growing Bitcoin scams as woman loses £40k

Crypto is making a resurgence

Bitcoin is booming again, with the price of the cryptocurrency at a new high in recent weeks.

But with the resurgence of it - alongside the likes of Ethereum - following price crashes in recent years, so comes the return of scam artists.

The idea of getting rich quick is not a new one and it is one that criminals are keen to exploit, targeting people's trust with bogus help and schemes.

And one expert has now spoken out about what you can do to avoid the fakes who only want to steal your cash.

ITV's This Morning has shone a light on it this week, speaking to a woman who fell victim to a Bitcoin crypto scam, loosing £40,000 in a fake Martin Lewis advert scheme in the process.

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A victim of a Bitcoin scam

The woman appeared on the show on Tuesday (20 March) under the fake name 'Lisa', where she spoke to This Morning presenters Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley about her ordeal.

"I had been looking at Bitcoin, this looks interesting, and then I saw the Martin Lewis 'advert'," Lisa said. "I assumed if he thought it was a good idea, let's click the link and see what happens."

After handing over personal details to scammers who had groomed her in to trusting them, she was left £40k out of pocket. As well as this, the scammers took out 11 banking loans in her name using fake details.

Appearing on the show alongside Lisa, Shephard and Deeley was Janet Quinn, who works as a Scams Lead Officer at Trading Standards.

Quinn said: "Lisa's story is such an awful story every time I hear it, it just makes me so sad because it's such a personal story this has ruined her life.

"We're seeing it a lot every month when we get complaints there's always cryptocurrency up there because it's the big thing, everyone wants to make some money from."

How to protect yourself from Bitcoin and crypto scams

"Times are very tricky at the moment so everybody does want to make the most of their money," Deeley said to Quinn.

"But we need certain things in place to protect ourselves."

Responding, Quinn said your own personal research and knowledge is the number one important thing when looking to get in to cryptocurrency investment.

Quinn said: "I think the key things are to always do your own research so be really wary if you're approached by somebody else by a cold call on the phone, a text message with a link to click on, a pop up on your computer, anything on social media which is what Lisa saw.

"Just be really, really wary. If you want to invest do your own research."

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Be prepared to lose

Quinn says you can't get in to the mindset that this is a get rich quick scheme that's foolproof.

"Always as well be prepared to lose what you're investing so keep it small," she said.

"It can get out of hand and out of control so quickly and it's so easily done. Then you get involved and then you feel silly and it just continues and it spirals out of control."


Warning signs

In the case of Lisa, she was groomed by the scammer.

"Lisa was groomed. He phoned her every single day," Quinn said. "It's really important to get this message out there. They're grooming you just like romance scammers."

As for using Martin Lewis' face to front the fake Bitcoin scheme, Lewis said: "if someone is advertising something with me in it, it is a lie. I don't do adverts.

"If someone is talking about an investment and saying I said it's a good investment they are thieves; criminals trying to steal your money. Do not go near them."

Featured Image Credit: ITV / Getty Stock Images

Topics: Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Money, Crime, UK News, Technology