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Northern Ireland Man Gets Back His Entire Life Savings After Losing It To A Crypto Scam

The man fought for two years with the help of Trading Standards to get his money back
 Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Julian Herbert
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Julian Herbert

A man from County Down, North Ireland, UK managed to recover nearly all of his life savings and pension after losing it to a crypto scam in 2022. The victory, which was achieved with the help of the Trading Standards, is one of the largest cases recorded by the Financial Ombudsman in the country. The retired public servant who had to go back to work after losing the six-figure sum wished to remain anonymous, the BBC reported.


As per the initial report, the scam began when the victim started investing in a crypto company after coming across an online ad. In the ad, he saw that the company was endorsed by two well-known celebrities and said investors can earn more money than they would from a bank.

"I started with £250. I didn't know anything about how cryptocurrency worked, I knew it existed but I didn't know the ins and outs," the man told the BBC.

Representative Image | Pexels | Photo by Lukas
Pexels | Photo by Lukas

He further added that his investment gave a good return and the company had a website assigned a personal client manager to him. The conversations with the manager happened over call and not online, the man noted.

"Nothing appeared to be strange, there were no red flags flying in my mind," he said. He said that he was satisfied as every question that he asked was answered and there was nothing to be suspicious about. He even kept a detailed spreadsheet of all the transactions and trading. At the time he invested only the amount which he could afford to lose.

However, after a few months of continued investment, of about £5,000, he was invited to join the company's "retirement section".

He said they quoted unbelievable figures, and he was assigned a new client manager. The company also asked him for extra money as insurance on his investment, which was not supposed to be traded. The man eventually invested a six-figure sum with the company.

Representative Image | Pexels | Photo by fauxels
Pexels | Photo by fauxels

Ultimately in February 2022, when the man logged into his account, he found that his insurance money was also used for trading without his permission. He then realised that the whole set-up was a scam.

When he complained about the issue, the fraudulent company referred him to a customer support team which led to nothing. He then complained to the police, the Financial Conduct Authority, and to the Trading Standards.

The man fought for almost two years to get his money back but was turned down by the Financial Ombudsman and his bank. His case was aided by all documentation and detailed notes that he had on every conversation. The man had even tracked the company down to an address in Scotland which turned out to be fake.

However, he continued the fight with the help of Trading Standards, who eventually won him a a repayment from his bank. Damien Doherty, chief inspector of Trading Standards in Northern Ireland, said, "It's been a while getting there."


He added that while the scammers got away with the money, the bank still had a duty to care for its customers.

"They completely turned everything around," the victim told the BBC about the Trading Standards. He added that the support and guidance he received was from the Trading Standards was "priceless", recommended that anyone who is in a similar scenario should go to the Trading Standards.

Investors should look out for tell tale signs of fraud before investing their money with a firm. A real investment firm will always tell the investors about the associated risks while a fraudulent firm will say and do anything to encourage investment.

Scammers also make their operations look legitimate, thus, it is important to verify their business registration, address and other details beforehand.