It started a cryptocurrency investing opportunity that slid into George Kissi’s direct messages in late April.
It’s ending with a bitcoin loss of almost $20,000 that the self-declared “risk taker” from Dublin, Ohio calls “a total scam.”
“I don’t know why I fell for that, other than greed,” Kissi, 49, told MarketWatch. When you have your eye on the prize and want everything now, he said, “That’s when you get scammed.”
What happened to Kissi is a cautionary tale that’s becoming common and costly, according to regulators. Some people are luckier than others in avoiding scams, but Kissi made mistakes in his attempts to make money and learned a lot of lessons too.
Perhaps the most salient lesson in light of the current crypto crash: Losing a large chunk of your investments can be a stressful and emotionally taxing experience. As such, the promise of a big payday in such a volatile market can prove too tempting to resist.
Crypto con artists scammed Americans out of $1 billion since last year, with median reported losses of $2,600, according to the Federal Trade Commission. A common snare is the purported promise of “huge returns,” the agency said.
The question is how to stop it, as federal lawmakers come up with proposed bipartisan legislation aiming to put cryptocurrency under more government supervision.
But as crypto investments keep hemorrhaging value during the latest downturn in the market, the question is also whether market conditions…