Elderly Oahu man loses $11K to cryptocurrency con artist – KITV Honolulu

Elderly Oahu man loses $11K to cryptocurrency con artist – KITV Honolulu

Blockchain Crypto Market Technology
May 20, 2022 by Coinvasity
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ReporterHONOLULU (KITV4) — Will, a 73-year-old Makiki resident who wished to keep his name private, is now left unsure of how he will pay his rent or buy food after being conned out of $11,000. Will received a phone call about three weeks ago from a man claiming his bank account was compromised and he needed
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Reporter
HONOLULU (KITV4) — Will, a 73-year-old Makiki resident who wished to keep his name private, is now left unsure of how he will pay his rent or buy food after being conned out of $11,000. 
Will received a phone call about three weeks ago from a man claiming his bank account was compromised and he needed to transfer money to a “virtual wallet” using a Bitcoin kiosk at the Hele gas station on King Street.
“I said, ‘Well then, I’ll just go down and take the money out of the account.’ And he said, ‘Oh no, don’t do that.’ He said the sheriff can come and charge you with money laundering and he’ll think you’re in cahoots with them,” Will said. 
So for two weeks, Will sent money to the man, who claimed he worked for his bank.
“I have zero faith I’m ever going to see another penny,” Will added. “I feel like a total idiot.”
Will explained the man told him he should not contact anyone about the transfers, especially the bank, because the scammer could be one of the employees.
“They want to isolate you and don’t want you to think,” Roseann Freitas of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) said of scammers. “Don’t do it (make suspicious payments) quickly, talk to somebody else, and make sure you understand how cryptocurrency works.”
Freitas said there is a lot of confusion surrounding cryptocurrency because it’s a fairly new digital currency.
The BBB reported $14 billion in cryptocurrency were stolen globally last year, and the organization is seeing a rise in cryptocurrency scams.
“A lot of people do not realize that this is not backed by any government, so it’s not like your credit card transaction or even a bank transaction that you can dispute,” Freitas said. 
“There’s no one regulating it (cryptocurrency). So once you hit click, the money is sent, it’s gone and there’s really no recourse. That’s what makes this so risky,” she added.
To avoid cryptocurrency cons, Freitas suggests doing a background check on a company before paying them with Bitcoin, and only paying people you know with the digital money.
Hilt Ventures, the company that owns the bitcoin kiosks in the Hele gas stations, told KITV4 via email: 
“We have tons of safety procedures to protect customers which is evident by the warnings on the kiosk itself and the several screens a customer has to go through prior to a transaction.
We are servicing the needs of the unbanked/underbanked segment of the population who don’t easily have access to financial services that others do.”
A GoFundMe page has been created to help Will recover his stolen fund. Tap here if you’d like to help out.
Do you have a story idea? Email news tips to news@kitv.com

In Case You Missed It: Here are four stories from around Hawaii that you need to know about from Wednesday, May 18, 2022, along with today’s weather.
Reporter
‘A’ali’i is a reporter with KITV. He was born and raised on the island of Maui and graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
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