James, a 62-year-old father of five, lost thousands of pounds in two elaborate online scams. Thankfully, CEL Solicitors was able to recover £78,699 for this client.
How the first online investment scam occurred
James, the director of a building refurbishment company, was browsing Facebook when he came across a cryptocurrency advert stating that with a small investment of £250, users can make a significant monthly income. As Bitcoin investments were prominent at the time, with endorsements by famous figures like Elon Musk, James was intrigued and proceeded to enter his details to receive more information.
A few days later, James was contacted by the scammer who claimed to work for the investment company. The fraudster was professional as he explained more about the opportunity and gave James a few days to think about his decision.
After carrying out due diligence and researching the company, James decided to go through with the opportunity and his trading account was created. He initially invested a couple of hundred pounds as per the advert, however, the scammer quickly explained that he would need to invest much more to see his profits grow.
Over the course of several weeks, the scammer pressured James into taking out multiple loans, including one from his business, totalling around £60,000. He reassured James that the profits of the investment would cover the loan and still leave him with a considerable amount of money left over.
The fraudster tricked James further, convincing him that Bitcoin had crashed, and he would need to pay to retrieve his funds. James obliged, and after attempting to contact the scammer, he received no response. It was at this point that James realised that he had been defrauded.
How the second ‘recovery’ scam occurred
To retrieve his losses, James contacted what he thought was a genuine fraud recovery company called ‘Fiscalstrails’. The fraudulent company told James that they were certain they could recover his money and take his scammers to court, which he was ecstatic to hear.
The scammers explained to James that he would need to pay additional fees to retrieve his funds. Desperate to receive the justice that he deserved, James paid the fee, unaware that he was being defrauded for a second time.
Getting money back from an online investment scam
After falling victim to two sophisticated scams, James was left distraught. As the sole earner in his family home, he was under immense pressure to work more hours to retrieve what he had lost.
James’ business also took a hit as he funded part of the scam through a business loan. As a result, James found himself falling into further debt, which according to him, caused many sleepless nights and impacted his personal life.
Despite taking out high-value loans, James’ bank, NatWest did not intervene at any point. James believes that his bank failed in their duty of care to protect him from the scam. This is when he decided to contact CEL Solicitors. CEL Solicitors specialise in fraud and scam cases on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning James had nothing to lose but everything to gain.
CEL was able to successfully recover £78,699 for James.
Elle Yates, Fraud Expert Paralegal at CEL Solicitors, said:
“This case was particularly harrowing as not only had our client been targeted in a sophisticated cryptocurrency scam, but they’d also been defrauded in a subsequent ‘recovery’ scam. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for scammers to pose as professional advisors, claiming to be able to recover money for an up-front fee. Sadly, in most cases these are opportunist scammers re-targeting their already vulnerable victims. Thankfully James went on to find us and we were able to assist him in recovering his money. For anyone else looking for help following an online scam, I would remind them to avoid anyone who asks for money up-front. We work on a no win, no fee basis, so there is nothing to lose by getting in touch.”