Two West Windsor Township residents were scammed out of more than a combined $1.7 million in separate, unrelated cryptocurrency fraud schemes via a cellphone app, according to the West Windsor Police Department.
A resident of The Terrace, who lost more than $700,000 in the scam, reported to police Nov. 30 that he had received a message via the Telegram texting app in September promoting a cryptocurrency investment company.
The victim responded to the Sept. 8 text message and downloaded an app called “Crypto” and then downloaded another app on his phone called “Capitall” directly from the fraudulent company’s website, police said.
He continued to make deposits in his crypto account and watched his money “grow” to more than $1 million, police said. When he attempted to withdraw his earnings, he was told by the company that he had to send $280,000 as a commission before he could make the withdrawal.
The victim sent half of the money, but withheld the remainder until he received his investment earnings, police said. After several days, his investment earnings had not been released and his crypto investment apps stopped working. He discovered that he had been scammed out of more than $700,000, police said.
In the second incident, a resident of Colonnade Pointe told police Nov. 19 that he met a woman online in September and that he began chatting with her on WhatsApp. After a few weeks, his new friend allegedly convinced him to use a different cryptocurrency exchange, via a mobile app, police said.
The crypto exchange was doing well, so the victim continued to deposit more money through the mobile app, police said. When he called customer service and asked about withdrawing money from his account, he was allegedly told he had to deposit $250,000 before he could make the withdrawal.
The victim called his “friend” about the issues he was having with the app and the exchange, and soon thereafter his counterfeit “BTCBOX” mobile app stopped working, police said. He had deposited more than $1 million into the counterfeit crypto account before discovering he had been scammed, police said.