Forex Trading Scams Using YouTube Comments to Lure Victims
The coronavirus. My husband being stuck at work in Trinidad with no idea when he could come home (we’re going on 6 months now). Worrying about my son. Finding out my granddaughter was molested. My daughter and her husband heading out on adventure before they move to another state permanently. I was alone and emotionally compromised and vulnerable.
I’m a freelance copy writer/content writer when I have time. One day I decided to figure out how I could make a little more money, and I stumbled on day trading. I started watching some youtube videos and pretty much decided that day trading was too risky. Unfortunately, it wasn’t before seeing a YouTube comment where someone wrote that they made a little extra by copy trading a successful Forex day trader.
For the record, meeting the scammer started on June 23, 2020. The financial portion took place from June 22-June 26, 2020. I haven’t spoken to the scammers since June 30, 2020. I saved and took screenshots of all interactions with the scammers, the trading sites, every email, and every receipt. I also reported what happened to the FTC and the FBI and local police. Concerned about the possibility of identity theft, contacted all three credit bureas and issued fraud alerts and credit freezes.
Fake Youtube Comments or Comments of Those Who Don’t Know They’re Victims Yet
In the comment section of YouTube, I either came across a comment made by a scammer or unknowing victim stating, “Amalia Norman Theo’s copy trading service is great!” Eight other people replied to the comment, several acknowledging that Amalia was, “The real deal.”
A Real FB Account with a Fake Name and Photo of a Real Person and FB PM’s
I found “Amalia” on FB and we had a whole exchange via FB PM’s–but not before I typed her name into Google search and couldn’t find anything as far as a scam goes. I stupidly made myself feel that that was a sign everything was legit. “She’s a private trader and doesn’t advertise, that’s why I can’t find her.” I know, I know, I missed a major red flag. But, it is what it is. Right? I fucked up.
Scammer Tells You to Get WhatsApp for Contacting Here on Out
Ugh, yes, another major red flag for forex trading scams that I missed. All legit companies use WhatsApp *sigh*. After the forex trading scammer and you get to “know” one another a bit, it’s time to talk money and setting up a forex trading account with cryptocurrency.
Using Cryptocurrency Exchange to Buy Bitcoins
I’ve never dabbled in bitcoins, ever. In fact, I never dabbled with trading aside from a brokerage account where I bought very few Apple stocks years and years ago–only made 2k in the past 5 to 6 years because I didn’t buy many.
My scammer had enough info now to know that I was clueless. They used it to their advantage. “Amalia” told me to buy bitcoins to pay her $1k for using her copy trade service and to buy bitcoins to put in my tradefxlive account. Like a complete dumb ass, I did.
I didn’t have a bitcoin wallet so she directed me to use changelly.com to purchase bitcoins. $1k for her copy trade service, and $4.5k for the investment account. Like a good sucker, I did exactly what she said.
Forex Cryptocurrency Scam Trading Site
I asked the scammer if I should create an account with the trading site before purchasing bitcoins. They said, “No, I’ll put the funds in the account.” Being the dumb ass that I was, I trusted them. They said that we’d be using tradefxlive.com. (I’ve recently written a WOT (web of trust) super negative review of the site).
Once again I ran a google search and I couldn’t find anything negative about tradefxlive.com. I convinced myself that I was okay. My brain blocked out typing in a variety of phrases like: Forex cryptocurrency scam, Forex copy trade scam, Forex trading scams site, and even “Is tradefxlive a scam?” , etc.
I sent the money to the cryptocurrency wallets the scammer told me to, and then set up my account with tradefxlive.com. Once in, I saw my funds and once again I felt all was fine. In my head, “If they were a scammer, they’d have taken the bitcoins and ran. But they didn’t, so all was well!” Right?
Copy Trader Making Profit with Great Trades
I started on a Monday, and that day I watched trade after successful trade happening. After one day, “Amalia” had netted me 2k in profits. She did the same again on Tuesday and all day Wednesday. I wasn’t expecting to see such profits, I thought maybe $25-$50, or major losses, but no.
“Amalia” knocked my socks off. I thought Amalia was a trading rock star. They said that they expected to double profits next week. They encouraged me to invest a bit more, so I did.
That whole week, I watched the signal fee going up along with the profits. I was aware of the signal fee rising and I couldn’t turn off the trades. I thought it was weird, but “Amalia” assured me this was normal and part of the trade cycle.
Five days in, Friday, the signal fee was just shy of $1k after the trading day ended. I knew I had to pay the signal fee before being able to withdraw profits, so the $1k didn’t bother me. But, on Saturday, due to the nearly 10k profits she’d made in five days, I thought I better go and print off pages for taxes.
The Signal/Site Fee Portion
On Saturday morning, when I went to print off the trades at tradefxlive.com for tax purposes, the under $1k signal fee had jumped to $4.3k. I panicked and went straight to “Amalia.” They told me to, “Relax, everything was fine, the signal fee also includes the site fee and it fluctuates.” I was still worried because, again, I wouldn’t be able to get my money out until the fee was paid.
I wanted out and I wanted out now and I still wanted proof for tax purposes. However, I had to screenshot everything because there was no option to print anything. Nothing to print showing deposits, nothing. No account control at all.
I demanded that the trading stopped because if the site fee rose anymore, I wouldn’t be able to withdrawal the profits. But it wasn’t just profits, I couldn’t withdrawal even my deposits! I had zero control over the account.
By that point I was having major freakouts. Amalia said that she stopped the trades, but I needed to pay the $4.3k in signal fees, in bitcoins, to the tradefxlive.com wallet address I used before. Reluctantly, I did. And I still wasn’t able to withdrawal a single dime. I couldn’t even withdrawal my investment. To do that would require the next part of the scam…
Initial Scammer Disappeared and was Replaced by Another, a Familiar but Unfamiliar Website
Once the site fee was paid, “Amalia” disappeared. They left WhatsApp. They removed their info from WhatsApp. The YouTube comments mentioning “Amalia Norman Theo” were gone. And all the FB PM’s with Amalia were gone, as was their FB page. I still have a screenshot of the FB PM’s, Amalia’s side isn’t there though. It looks like I was talking to myself.
I fired off emails to TradeFXlive demanding I be allowed to withdrawal my investment. Desperate, I told them they could keep the “profits”. When I asked what exactly I needed to withdrawal my investment, they said, “bitcoin address and pay the site fee.” The site fee was already paid. Next I signed up for a bitcoin wallet and gave them the address. After that, they still wouldn’t let me withdrawal.
A few minutes later, some man claiming to be “Charles”, contacted me via what’s app. Their info read tradecapitals.io and it came from the same number listed on the tradefxlive.com website. He sent me a link to tradecapitals.io to email them. Like TradeFXLive support, they said all I needed to withdrawal was a bitcoin address. So I gave it to them, but I still couldn’t withdrawal.
International Business Certificate Permit (IBCP)
I texted “Charles” and that shit-bird said that to withdrawal “profits” that I needed an International Business Certificate Permit. Once I had the IBCP, I needed to take a picture of me holding it to get my “profits”. I texted tradecapitals.io and bitched. They, too, now said I needed this unheard of permit.
Charles claimed he could save me time and sell me one for $3500. Um, no fucking way! The jig was up. In no way were they going to get more money out of me. I then told him that the first email from tradecapitals.io email support said I just needed a bitcoin address. He said that it didn’t matter, I needed the IBCP as well.
I told him that I’d get one from a legit online source. “Charles” then said, “You can’t do that because if you buy from a site the permit may not be legitimate and we won’t accept it.”
The exchanges between myself and Charles lasted for hours. He became very pissy with me at times. Apparently he wasn’t good at this part of the scam. Enter…
A New Scammer Who I Unaffectionately Call “The Attempted Savior”
Later that day, yet another random person texted me via WhatsApp. They said that their name was Lawrence Scott Wasserman. Like the other forex trade scammers, they used a random name.
The real Mr. Wasserman, is an identity theft victim. A fitness guru with tons of friends and family on his FaceBook page, along with a post in March of 2020 in which he wrote that his identity was stolen. In the same post, he shared how the culprits are using his name and photos for internet scams. Talk about scary!
The scammer claimed that they owned CryptoRevolution on YouTube. I couldn’t find his name anywhere at CryptoRevolution. I don’t know if he is the owner or not. Probably not, the channel owner may not be aware that his channel is being mentioned by forex trading scammers.
He claimed someone contacted him due to me writing a post at forexpeacearmy.com. He told me that this “person” told him that I wanted his help. Really, at this point, I was already pissed and told him I didn’t write anything and “Leave me the fuck alone.”
“Larry” wished me luck and that was that. Until I wrote him the next day that I knew he was a scammer and tried to negotiate getting my money back, unsuccessfully. Turns out, a guy by this name is behind TradeCapitals, which of course, is linked to tradefxlive and tradecapitals.io. In addition to $3500 for an IBCP, he said I’d need $1k to close the account.
On WhatsApp, a person has an option to delete conversations from both sides. All three of the scammers did that to me… but thankfully I had archived all three conversations in whatsapp, in full, so their mass delete didn’t work.
I’ll never see the money again but I reported the scam
My husband trusted me and I royally fucked up our savings. We’re not sure if he’ll even have a job once he gets home and that money was meant to help us live for several months without him having a job.
Thankfully, we’re not allowing the scammers to ruin our marriage. We’re trying to put this all behind us now. But it doesn’t take away from what a fool I was or the position I put us in. We were prepared to lose money, we weren’t prepared for the losing money trying to get back our investment.
I reported to all the proper agencies about the scam, and put out fraud alerts on my credit and froze my accounts, as well as beefed up security and passwords for all my accounts. Those scammers have my license, address, and phone number, after all. Better safe than sorry again.
The reason I’ve shared about Forex trading scams and my experience with a Forex trading scam isn’t to garner pity. I know I was stupid. When I was going through to make files for law agencies, I cried because I could see the red flags that I was blinded to initially. I shared this story to both make people aware of the scam, as well as let other victims of fraud that they aren’t alone.