MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise. A report from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows they jumped from the seventh highest overall scam to the second in 2021.
One Milwaukee man lost his life savings last year. Nas Musa invested more than $200,000 in BitConnect after a friend recommended the company.
“He basically told me you can make daily interest anywhere from 2-4% a day, and in 2018, I had just gotten into bitcoin, it was still new,” said Musa.
His friend was seeing returns on his investment at the time, and he thought it was a safe, good investment. Late last year, it was revealed that BitConnect was a $2 billion Ponzi scheme.
“It was devastating,” said Musa.
in 2021, 66% of people targeted lost money; on average more than $1,000.
“Scammers are using social media and other means to promise investment opportunities to people with great returns and very low risks, which is of course a big red flag,” said Lisa Schiller, a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Successful cryptocurrency scams doubled between 2020 and 2021, according to the BBB. Some of them are asking for crypto payments for items purchased and others just offer an investment opportunity.
Most people who are victims of a scam will not get any money back.
In January, the two men were indicted on the charges of the BitConnect scam, and restitution is being offered to victims.
Schiller says no one is immune to these types of scams.
“We are seeing a younger age group falling for investment and cryptocurrency scams of various types,” said Schiller.
As of now, Musa has not received any of his $200,000 back.