Love Turns to Loss Florida Resident's $42K Nightmare in Romance Investment Scheme

Love Turns to Loss: Florida Resident’s $42K Nightmare in Romance Investment Scheme

In December 2023, a man from Miami experienced a financial loss of $42,000 due to an Ethereum investment scheme that originated from a connection established on Instagram.

The relationship abruptly ended in January. The scheme involved the use of a photograph of an attractive Asian woman presenting herself as Mandy Li, claiming to be the CEO of Estee Lauder.

The victim, opting to stay anonymous, informed that the woman’s profile, along with the photo, had been posted on LinkedIn.

“She surprised me because when I asked her to prove she was real, she agreed to a video call,” he stated. “She looked pretty similar not exactly the same.”

The real woman in the pictures most likely isn’t aware that she’s being used in romantic schemes or what detectives refer to as “Pig Butchering,” according to federal officials.

“I was suspicious because she wasn’t the exact girl, but I dismissed it to photo filters,” he stated.

He mentioned initiating investments with amounts of $500 and $1,000, experiencing profits each time and successfully withdrawing his funds.

The initial investments were conducted on Crypto.com, and the gains were confirmed to be genuine by the victim. However, the situation took a turn for the worse when Mandy Li advised him to transfer his money to a different website and account or wallet.

Under her assurance of a daily 1% gain, he likened the website to a video game and observed his profits rise from $48,000 to $55,000.

Upon requesting a withdrawal of some funds, he was informed that there would be a fee associated with the withdrawal process.

He claimed, “I saw my money going up and down, but it was a trap. My money was already gone.”

He acknowledges that Bank of America advised him against investing the money from his savings in a hazardous venture.

But he moved the money since it seemed like he was getting ahead. He remarked, “I guess I lost big money, stupid me.”

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission reported that in 2023, damages from romance scams amounted to $1.14 billion, with a typical loss of $2,000 per victim. “The highest reported losses for any form of imposter scam,” according to the bureau, are romance scams.

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