In June 2021, Jane* contacted the Forexposed to report a significant investment scam that resulted in a loss of over $100,000.
The scam unfolded when Jane matched with an individual named ‘Wu Haoyu’ on the popular dating app Hinge in March. After months of daily communication, Wu Haoyu enticed her into a complex investment scam related to purported forex currency trading.
Wu Haoyu claimed to have recently moved to Wellington from Canada and planned to relocate to Auckland. He shared personal details, interests, and a passion for cryptocurrency investment, asserting that he had a finance degree and expertise in reading candlestick charts.
Initially cautious, Jane scrutinized Wu Haoyu’s Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, which seemed genuine, and the website he provided for the investment – www.forexdce.com – appeared professional, featuring real trading data and an investor forum.
Wu Haoyu guided Jane through forex trading, and she eventually made initial transfers of $3,000 and $8,000. Despite her skepticism, Jane contacted the customer service team at www.forexdce.com, and the information checked out, reinforcing her confidence.
Manipulated and guilt-tripped, Jane increased her investment to $100,000, believing it was necessary for Wu Haoyu to continue trading. He even transferred $20,000 into her forex account without permission, claiming they could both withdraw funds after a profitable trade.
Upon attempting a withdrawal, Jane was informed of a 20% tax requirement on the total withdrawal amount, due by June 10th. Realizing it was a scam, she reported it to her bank and the NZ police.
Unfortunately, the police were unable to assist Jane. Despite reporting him, Wu Haoyu continued communicating with her, boasting about new victims and revealing details about his recruitment and training in China and Laos.
Jane fell victim to a sophisticated international scam orchestrated by a well-organized network with expertise in analyzing the psychological vulnerabilities of their targets. Subsequently, Jane connected with other victims on Reddit and gained valuable insights into identifying online scammers.