Anja was on Facebook last month when she saw the words of the comedian flashed up on the screen explaining how you can make a quick buck. She clicked on the advert and unlocked a world of misery. She ended up on the Bitcoin Future website, filled in a registration form and five minutes later her phone rang: it was Bryant Smith of the TDS Capital Group, who claimed they had developed a system to make money out of a fall in the value of the virtual currency bitcoin.
Anja tried to transfer 250 euros, but when this and several other operations failed, she finally let the scammers take control of her computer from a distance. The fraudsters transferred 25,000 euros instead of 250 euros and called back to get Anja to sign the transfer to a bank in Ireland, which she did!
Anja hopes to see her money back but according to the Belgian financial watchdog FSMA (Financial Services and Markets Authority) that isn’t all that likely. The watchdog possesses lists of companies that are known to be involved in such fraudulent operations. It advises potential investors to contact them beforehand to avoid problems. Victims can always file a complaint with the FSMA or the police. The FSMA also advises people always to stay calm when fraudsters try to pressurise you to carry out a financial operation and to think before you leap.