CHICAGO (CBS) — Credit card fraud, payment app scams, wire transfers gone wrong; you’ve likely heard about the different ways you can get conned out of your coin through these payment methods.
But today, the Morning Insiders are telling you about a scam involving a new type of asset — Bitcoin.READ MORE: Family Escapes House Fire In Brighton Park
In case you don’t, here’s the lowdown. Bitcoin is a digital currency, and transactions have no middleman – meaning no banks.
This virtual money has received increasing hype, because its value has skyrocketed, making it an appealing asset for scammers.
“I know they have schemes out there,” said Lindsey Walton, who has been investing in Bitcoin for over a year — enough time to make him think he’d never fall for fraud.
Cue Cynthia Marshall; per Facebook an entrepreneur, crypto-consultant, binary trader, and account manager. Her pitch? She can earn you $50,000 weekly by trading your Bitcoin.
“Which looked real good, you know?” Walton said.
Marshall reached out to Walton via Facebook Messenger. She convinced him whatever Bitcoin he invested would be safe, because it would be kept in a password-protected account on her company’s website – Auto Virtual Options.
“To me sounded very legitimate,” Walton said.
The trading platform was sleek, professional, and chock-full of testimonials.
“The whole thing looked real,” Walton said.
That’s why he felt comfortable transferring more than $7,000 worth of Bitcoin to the site.
Marshall supposedly invested that money, and presto: she made him $60,000 in less than a week. Too good to be true? It sure was.READ MORE: Protesters Pack Logan Square Over Police Shooting Of Adam Toledo
“The money that they show you that you gain is just a trick,” Walton said.
When he asked to withdraw the $60,000 from the account, Marshall told him he would need to pay another $6,000 before he could transfer any funds.
That’s when the red flags went up, and when Walton refused to send more money, Marshall didn’t take it too well.
“I hate when my clients keep arguing with me,” she wrote.
“Now I’m telling my family about what’s going on, and they said, ‘Well don’t give them no more money,’” Walton said.
After Walton refused to budge, Marshall called it quits.
“I’m angry and don’t want to trade for you again I have alot of clients that I work for you can trade for yourself if you need any help kindly contact support or live chat I’m not longer available,” she wrote.
With her disappearance, Walton’s Bitcoin vanished too. He can’t access any of the Bitcoin he sent to that fraudulent account.
“I was sick to my stomach,” he said.
Now he’s warning others so they don’t get conned out of their cryptocurrency.
CBS 2 reached out to Marshall and Auto Virtual Options, but got no response.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Rising Temperatures Through The Weekend But Snow Possible Next Week
Since CBS Chicago first published this story it has come to our attention that the scammers are using the likenesses of real people who live in Texas. The woman pictured in this story is not involved in the scam, and is working with Facebook in an effort to get the postings removed.