Home Bitcoin News Bitcoin Scam Bitcoin scam sees man lose nearly half a million dollars, calling banks and exchanges to account – ABC News

Bitcoin scam sees man lose nearly half a million dollars, calling banks and exchanges to account – ABC News

12 min read

The brother of a person scammed out of greater than $400,000 has issued a warning to individuals to be extra conscious of bogus bitcoin merchants.

Kevin Barraclough, 67, inherited a small fortune when his mom died and thought he would make investments it to present the income again to the group teams he supported.

“I wished to scoop the cash off [the top] and provides it to the poor,” he stated.

“It was about investing to assist different individuals.”

Whereas scrolling by way of Fb late one night time Mr Barraclough stated he stumbled throughout a website providing him the possibility to make hundreds of thousands of {dollars} on bitcoin.

He stated he typed in his title and cellphone quantity “out of curiosity”.

Inside half an hour he acquired a cellphone name from abroad from a person saying he wished to do enterprise, and it will solely value him $250.

Mr Barraclough stated he foolishly handed over his e-mail handle and checking account particulars to an individual he didn’t know.

“They appeared very convincing, they appeared very private, very caring,” he stated.

An preliminary $250 transaction was made on February 13 final yr, however when Mr Barraclough tried per week later to entry his Visa Westpac account it was blocked.

He was known as into his native department in southern Sydney and was advised two suspicious transactions of $1,490.39 every had been tried.

A whole bunch of 1000’s gone

Mr Barraclough mentioned the transactions with a financial institution consultant who advised him the financial institution believed the transactions had been real.

The block on his account was eliminated which gave Mr Barraclough the inexperienced mild to make dozens 

The following transaction on March 2 was for $7,773.62.

Between April 3 and Could 15, Mr Barraclough made a complete of 43 transactions for bitcoin through corporations with names together with Veritex.io, Bluesnow.ou, Simplex-Elastum and Simplex-Bitstamp.

He misplaced nearly all the cash, totalling $451,397.41.

In response to his brother Alan, Mr Barraclough is a weak, single man dwelling alone who lacks the capability to evaluate misinformation and is definitely taken benefit of.

He has no experience in bitcoin buying and selling.

Allan needs to know why his brother didn’t get a stronger warning from the financial institution and why extra thorough checks weren’t carried out.

Brothers Kevin left, and Allan Barraclough right, stand side by side next to backyard pool.Brothers Kevin left, and Allan Barraclough right, stand side by side next to backyard pool.
Kevin and Allan Barraclough are in search of compensation from Westpac for cash misplaced by Kevin in a bitcoin rip-off.(

ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale


A easy Google search reveals Veritex is predicated in Estonia and is often suspected to be linked to web scams.

The identical applies for Bluesnow, Simplex-Elastum and Simplex-Bitstamp.

Confidentiality is vital

On account of confidentiality, the financial institution refused to debate any particulars of Mr Barraclough’s state of affairs however did launch an announcement in response to an ABC enquiry.

“Westpac invests closely in rip-off prevention and has sturdy processes in place to alert and defend prospects,” it stated.

Allan has turn into his brother’s monetary guardian.

He stated he was livid when he discovered what Kevin had completed.

However it was already too late.

Allan says he doesn’t settle for the financial institution’s clarification that it was transferring Mr Barraclough’s cash to a reliable firm — “a third-party cryptocurrency switch service” — or the financial institution’s perceived willingness to guard the switch service.

“The intermediary, who was declared to be simply the switch company of cash, they had been discovered to have completed nothing fallacious … [but] they would not give us data on who the scammers had been,” Allan stated. 

“That was stated to be a privateness [issue].

Crypto scams widespread

The Australian Competitors and Shopper Fee (ACCC) obtained greater than 3,000 studies of crypto-currency scams in 2020 with losses approaching $28 million.

Simply three months into 2021, losses from cryptocurrency funding scams are already $13.5 million and look to overhaul losses from final yr.

Privacy and Security researcher Dr Katina Michael sits in a University of Wollongong computer labPrivacy and Security researcher Dr Katina Michael sits in a University of Wollongong computer lab
Dr Katina Michael warns banks should not enable the accountability for on-line monetary scams to slip to others.(

ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale


For Wollongong College privateness and safety researcher Katina Michael, the growing prevalence of digital provide chains makes it very arduous to determine who the perpetrators of cybercrimes are.

Moreover, Professor Michael stated the banking royal fee clearly steered banks wanted to do extra thorough monetary checks.

“Banks will simply say they’re doing enterprise with a reliable change — it is the change’s fault,” she stated.

It was not simply the banks that had been failing to behave, Professor Michael stated.

“If a easy search on the web can determine the potential suspicion of an entity, absolutely bigger gamers and companies and platform suppliers, like Fb, can really do higher at investigating who’s on their buyer listing, and who they’re permitting their prospects to transact with,” she stated.

“It is nearly [an attitude] like, ‘Let consumers beware’, however [it should be] ‘Banks beware and platform suppliers beware’ — you might have an ethical accountability, if not a authorized one.”

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