In May 2021, Nisha reached out to the FMA to report a scam that targeted users on the popular social media platform LinkedIn, resulting in a loss of over $3000.
Her encounter began when she connected with a woman named ‘Rayes Moore’ on LinkedIn, who claimed to be a professional stockbroker and expert in binary trading. Intrigued by the investment opportunity, Nisha provided her contact number, and the communication shifted to WhatsApp.
Rayes Moore recommended investing with Standard Coin Options Brokers, providing what seemed to be a legitimate website. Within a week of connecting, Nisha invested just over $400 in binary options, predicting the price movements of various assets. Astonishingly, Standard Coin Options reported a profit of over $20,000 within a week.
Eager to access her supposed earnings, Nisha was informed that she needed to pay $2,800 in ‘tax’ before withdrawing the funds. Unaware of the scam, she shared images of her debit card and passport with a person named ‘Mr. Wilson’ and transferred the money to ‘Jackson Joy’ in India.
Mr. Wilson later insisted on an additional $3,000 ‘tax,’ this time to the New Zealand Government. Realizing it was a scam, Nisha blocked Rayes Moore on WhatsApp and attempted to warn her LinkedIn contacts. She discovered that Rayes Moore had approached others in her network.
After reporting the case to the FMA, the agency investigated and issued a public warning about Standard Coin Options. Nisha lamented the financial loss, sleepless nights, and the impact on her confidence as an investor.
Her advice to others contacted on social media with investment offers is to promptly block, report, and inform friends and family. Reflecting on her experience, she emphasized the importance of caution, especially when approached with seemingly kind messages, noting that trust can be easily exploited.