An advertisement on Facebook a few months ago was what lured Hanne into the arms of what she believed were skilled and very understanding bitcoin investors.
“A couple of clicks on an ad and I suddenly had the nicest personal advisor on the phone, Laura, who was keen to hear about the project I wanted to support with some of the profits from my investments. She gained my trust with her empathetic, chummy and pleasant tone. During one of our conversations I had some problems with my computer and she offered to help me key in my details if I could just grant her access – and it all went smoothly… I had soon set up an account with a well-known German bank and transferred the first sum of money,” explains Hanne.
Need for more help from the police
Hanne lost all contact with Laura, who had seemingly disappeared from the face of the earth. Hanne called Danske Bank and acknowledged that this was probably fraud after all. However, if money is transferred voluntarily, there is nothing the bank can do – and Hanne’s only hope was to report it to the police in Denmark.
“The police asked me to send a great deal of documentation via the internet – which was far too complicated for me. They then asked me to visit my local police station – but they didn’t know what to do either. I need more hands-on help from the police so, to be honest, I don’t think I will get my money back,” says Hanne.
“I feel so stupid …”
In the meantime, she has seen companies on the internet who claim they can help victims recover their money from fraudsters, though this help has to be paid for. She has later found out that it is the fraudsters themselves who also run these companies – so this is yet another way to con more money out of people who have previously fallen for a scam. Hanne has not signed up to any of these companies, but she is extremely annoyed that she fell into the scammers’ trap in the first place:
“Normally, I am not easily fooled – but right now I feel as dumb as a doornail. I have about DKK 10,000 left in my pocket and have to figure out how to get through this month. I will survive of course – but not much more than that. I can look at myself fairly objectively, and this has really taught me something about my own stubbornness and the fact that I don’t listen. I am deeply annoyed, but I’m not going to let my frustration get to me. And if I ever want to invest again, I will let the bank guide me”, notes Hanne.
NB: Hanne is an alias, but her real identity is known to Danske Bank.
Three warning signs
- Someone wants you to invest without you receiving impartial financial advice.
- Offers that promise a secure investment, guaranteed return or large profits.
- Take additional care if you have been scammed once – fraudsters may view you as a potential future target or attempt to sell your contact information to other criminal networks.