Two West Windsor residents were defrauded out of a total of more than $1.7 million in cryptocurrency-related fraud schemes through a cellphone app, according to the West Windsor Police Department.
The Terrace resident, who lost more than $700,000 to the scam, told police on Nov. 30 that he received a message via the Telegram texting app in September promoting a cryptocurrency investment company.
Police said the victim responded to the Sept. 8 text message and downloaded an app called “Crypto,” then downloaded another app called “Capitall” directly from the fraudulent company’s website to the phone.
He continued to make deposits into his crypto account and watched his money “grow” to more than $1 million, police said. When he tried to withdraw his earnings, the company told him he had to send $280,000 in commission before he could withdraw.
Police said the victim sent half the money but kept the rest until he received the investment income. A few days later, his investment income was not published and his crypto investment apps stopped working. Police said he discovered he had been defrauded of more than $700,000.
In the second incident, a Colonnade Point resident told police on Nov. 19 that he met a woman online in September and began chatting with her on WhatsApp. A few weeks later, her new boyfriend allegedly convinced her to use another cryptocurrency exchange through a mobile app, police said.
The crypto exchange worked well, so the victim continued to deposit more money through the mobile app, police said. When she called customer service and asked about withdrawing money from her account, she was allegedly told she had to make a $250,000 deposit before she could withdraw.
Police said the victim called his “friend” about problems with the app and the exchange, and soon after, his fake “BTCBOX” mobile app stopped working. He deposited more than $1 million into a fake crypto account before discovering he had been scammed, police said.