“Mr Pape, are you ready to make a lot of money?” a stuffy British accent asked me over the phone.
“Maybe, but I’m not feeling it”, I replied.
“Mr Pape, are you aware that Bitcoin is currently surging? My other clients made 63% … just last week.”
“I want you to get me … motivated”, I whispered to him. “I want you to yell … at the top of your lungs … ‘I will make you reeech’.”
“I will make you rich”, he nervously repeated.
“I WILL MAKE YOU RICH!” he yelled, so loud that he forgot to sound British, and revealed his Nigerian accent.
Now I was motivated!
Yet I’m getting ahead of myself, so let me take you back to the beginning.
A few weeks ago my mate Tom Gleeson won the Gold Logie. Yet that wasn’t the only (dubious) award he won.
Tom unwittingly became the latest celebrity to be used to front a fake crypto scam called ‘Bitcoin Profits’.
The scammers not only stole pictures of him (and Waleed Aly), but they also nicked the ABC’s logo (and the logos of other media outlets) to fool people into thinking they were on the ABC News website.
Truth be told, this scam has been around for years.
They’ve used me in their ads before. And Kochie. And Richard Branson. And James Packer … but now a comedian?
So I decided I’d have a bit of fun with them.
I registered my mobile number with the scammer site, and dutifully received a phone call within 15 minutes from a man calling himself ‘David Clark’ (how Anglo a name is that?) — the man who would eventually (with some encouragement from me) scream “I will make you rich!”
From the get-go, David was trying everything he could to get me to place a $US250 trade with his automated crypto trading program. David assured me (in his best British accent) that I was “absolutely guaranteed to make money”.
Of course, I didn’t take the bait.
Yet a reader, who I’ll call Bill, did.
Bill runs a small family business in country New South Wales and works gruelling 90-hour weeks.
Late one evening he read the Bitcoin Profits article, and the tales of instant easy riches, and thought to himself,
why not give it a go?
Like me, a few minutes later he was on the phone to a fast-talking ‘British’ account manager.
Unlike me, Bill gave over his credit card details and made his first $US250 trade.
Guess what happened?
The automatic crypto trading program worked: he doubled his money!
Bill was told to immediately top up his account with his credit card, so he could make even more money.
This process of winning, and topping up his account, kept going for the next two days.
All up, Bill transferred $28,000 into his trading account … while his winnings climbed to $50,000.
So, Bill had made a quick $22,000, right?
NO! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? CAN’T YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING?
Bill had been scammed.
When he twigged, he felt physically ill.
Then he frantically called his bank, Westpac, who traced the funds to a company in (of course) Nigeria.
He then reported them to the NSW Police, who basically told him there was nothing they could, or would, do.
“I just wish they would at least warn people about this scam … there’s another lady I know who lost $60,000 the same night as me!” lamented Bill.
I promised Bill I’d do everything I could to help.
Okay, while that stops short of going to Nigeria, I can ask you, my readers, a favour.
Let’s collectively give these scammers a Hard Chat: tell everyone you know to avoid Bitcoin Profits.
Tread Your Own Path!