Episode 39: Crypto Investor Loses $120K With One Mouse Click (2021)
12:12PM Jan 19, 2023
Whoa, just curious. Welcome to Just curious media. This is that's a crime. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
All right sound we are back for another crime.
Yes. And more education for me because I need more education on this very topic.
All right. Yes. And today we are breaking down the True Crime Story of the crypto investor loses $120,000 with one mouse click in 2021. Scary sell?
Yeah. What a difference a click mix.
Yes, indeed, we are going to delve into it. It's another one of our crypto crimes which we like to break out. You are asking for something lighter. This is lighter, but then it's got some poor individual losing money online. So that's not exactly light light.
No, but there are no fatalities. There's no fatigue and no injuries. So that's what's important. I mean, obviously money loss here. money stolen here. Yeah, but yeah, no fatalities. So at least we're all able to walk away or this gentleman this unfortunate gentleman, or do we know if it's a man or a woman? Do we know?
Well, we're gonna save that we're gonna
say it was victimized. Yeah, I we feel for them. But at least they are alive. Yes.
And now we are going to have a word from our sponsor. I'm reading. Support for that to crime is brought to you by manscaped, who is the best in men's below the waist grooming and offers precision engineered tools for your family tools. Join over 4 million men worldwide who trust manscaped. And with this exclusive offer, you'll get
20% off and free worldwide shipping with the code. That's a email@example.com.
Well done. Okay. This crime came on my radar. As I was reading for crimes, I was actually looking for a crypto crime. And a lot of the hacks and things I read about, you know, hackers targeting people, it was a lot of companies getting hit, which we've done a couple of those great episodes on, but I was really looking for an individual, you know, that has experienced this. And we can kind of tell that cautionary tale. And I learned of this through Fortune Magazine, and I want to give a shout out to the writer, Carmela torinos, I believe Terenas. And it came out in March 2022. So it's a couple of months old. But of course, this happened in December of 2021. But I was really fascinated, the more I read it and researched it, I thought, oh my gosh, we have to delve into this. And I know that you even looked up some things as we're going to break this down and get into it more. But you mentioned the sex and we don't know that cell. We don't even know the person's name. That's a first for us. That is a first and that was kind of weird. But the more I jumped in, I thought, well, this is this is enough here to tackle. And there's probably a reason for this. Because hey, who wants to go on a stage and say, Hey, this is me. And I lost this. Now sometimes you might get a GoFundMe, right. It could have a different connection and maybe reward you but they didn't want to be in or they wanted to remain anonymous. But essentially, this crypto investor is nameless, because they went on Reddit, and told their story. And they have a fantastic username. Yeah. Which is do you want to go ahead and take
the honors? Power of the gods?
of the gods. So yeah, hang
on. I almost feel like they're setting themselves up. The you know, pride cometh before the fall.
There you go. Yeah, maybe so maybe so well, this is the Reddit handle user, if you will, power of the gods. And this is the only reference we have. Now. Listen, if I could take a guess I may say it's a male, but we don't know. We just know this person and we will take a guess. Yeah. Okay. Well, and your guesses?
Yeah, I think it's a guy. Yeah. I don't think a woman would have a name like that.
I do know that it's quite a tale. They wrote this long laundry list and story and they shared it on Reddit. And this is where it became an article fortune picked it up and other publications as well, but I really respect to their writing and, and now we can delve into this quote. You
know, Jason, I read that whole his post I read the post Yes, I read the post, and I got a pretty good bullshit meter. You know, and it seemed legit. It seemed legit. It seemed genuine. Yeah, my bullshit meter was not going off reading the Reddit post.
Yeah, I never questioned it because it wasn't enough publications. And this what happens is happening, unfortunately, at a rapid pace and so what happened here is Reddit user power of the gods said he'd been investing in crypto since 2016. And he kept his investments in a Ledger Nano s which is a crypto wallet. You can find that on Amazon for around 50 bucks. It looks like a you USB
flash drive flash drive. Oh, that Oh, it's so it's an actual hardware. Yeah,
it looks like a flash drive, real small cover. So you plug it in your machine when you're doing your crypto because people that use these are doing like kind of their own. You know, they're keeping their information. They're doing their own self custody, if you will, like the crypto that I have, I leave it on the platform, I buy it and I put their vault online with the company. It could be insured, we've done crimes recently where crypto.com actually gave money back to people, because it's like, well, it's not insured. But then they did because they're building a name. They're voting trust and all that. So I've left my crypto in those spaces, but some people they want to trust themselves, I get it by a lot of crypto, I do the same thing. And they put it on these crypto wallets. And he also has for meta mask, digital hot wallets. And that's an online kind of like I'm talking about, but I'm guessing meta mask is a company that you can just store it on there. They may not facilitate like Coinbase or FTX or other platforms that you buy it on. So I think it's he's kind of got these things in two places. But when he checked his accounts last December, he noticed they were empty. And so that would be a terrifying discovery.
I would flip out I mean, I flip out if I check my pocket, I don't have my phone. Exactly. You feel that blood rush, you know? Yeah, well, yeah, this would be next level. Next level. I
is starting to doubt yourself like heinous. I'm in the wrong account. Let's go on. Well,
yeah, it's like, Well, did I make this mistake? Did I make an error? Sure. That's the first thing. How did I screw this up?
Yeah. Well, now at the time, his currency was valued at more than $120,000, as we said earlier, and he realized that hackers stole his crypto after he clicked on one bad link. So this truly is a cautionary tale and really makes you think before you click on anything,
Jason, I am a firm believer in everyone being the only user of their own computer. Only you use your computer only I use my computer. I live by that. Okay, but guess what? My girlfriend wants to use my computer. And I think my girlfriend likes clicking on stuff I do. I think she's a clicker. Yeah, she's gonna click on something she may not click on, click on something to get her crypto wiped up, but she's gonna click on something probably gonna give me a virus. I've seen people do this in the workplace. I've seen people start just clicking away. I've saved people. I've literally grabbed my former boss at my old newspaper. I used to work grab his wrist. Hey, don't don't don't do that. He's an elderly gentleman here an editor. So yeah, well, right. Do it. I'm suspicious. I am generally gonna be suspicious of things. So I am not a clicker. I'm not clicking on stuff. Let me exit out if they need me. They'll get back to me, you know? No. So yeah, be very careful clicking on stuff. And I would not advise other people use now in this instance, this was him on his own computer. Yes, fine. But still to eliminate the variable of another person. Something goes wrong with your computer. Like they probably did it. And then you get into big fight, not saying this happened to me and my girlfriend? No, no, but it could happen.
I could. Well, unfortunately, this story is becoming increasingly common. And to that point, and 2021 criminal stole $14 billion and cryptocurrency a 79% increase from 2020.
Hang on Jason. In 2021. In one year, they stole 14 billion. Yes. Oh, come on. There's no stuff. How are we gonna stop this out
of control? So there's no way to stop this. I'm afraid this trend is going to continue as long as crypto continues to gain popularity, even when it comes down in price because it's very volatile. If you follow it, you know.
Yeah, especially lately. A lot of bad press lately. Yeah,
of course, in a year from now, if it's on the upswing. I mean, it's just not going to stop as you just said hackers are coming. They're smart. They understand computers, and they're down with a bunch of clickers.
You know what we're gonna see Jason we're gonna mark my words mark my words of the day you write it down. We will see the day well, they're gonna be stealing NF Ts. What are we told today? Nf T's are so safe one of a kind. Blockchain right. Dude, we're gonna see theft of NF T's. You heard it here. Okay,
Sal Rodriguez. So now back to power of the gods and his crypto horror story that went viral when he shared it on Reddit its cryptocurrency thread. He went on there and shared the story. Once you read it all I scanned it pulled some things up, but you've read it the whole way through. And he believes as you can attest to he lost his investment after clicking on a malicious link while web surfing. While his ledger was unlocked a Trojan took control of his browser and wiped his wallet in a matter of minutes.
Was that targeted? You think he was targeted power of the gods was targeted? You think was it random? How random can that be? Yeah, I don't know. Oh, no, if he clicked on it that he initiated exist, he unlocked
it. It could have been his inbox. But I think he was on our browser cruising around, clicked on something and it could have been in the wrong thing. It was the wrong thing to do. Yeah, it
just seems like this guy, unintelligent person, just like let his guard down. He let his guard up maybe was tired, maybe been drinking whatever, he just let his guard down, right? A person like this should know better. You should not
be thinks he's protected with his Ledger Nano s plugged in. He's got his meta mask fills his cover, right clicking on a link and then boom, you know, you look up and your Kryptos gone. And that's the scary thing about crypto. Now, of course, immediately I'm thinking, well, crypto is in the blockchain. And you can track that back. But, you know, here's a guy that stewarding his own crypto, not like hey, FTX or Coinbase or, or, you know, Voyager I bought it through you. So he removed it off their platform. He's protecting his own crypto. And so yes, the blockchain eventually it pops up like, Hey, that was mine. Is that ever gonna happen? No. I mean, as much as we want the blockchain to work, no one's overseeing this whole system. And so this is what happens. It just vanishes. It's like, hey, so I had a $500 over here, and it's gone. Where's that? Good luck. Good luck find that cash.
Can this gentleman prove that there was indeed $120,000 stolen? Is that provable?
Well, he's got a history of probably purchasing it. And he does share some things in his Reddit like screenshots that he was taking a long time was sharing some codes. And eventually, if that pops up or populate somewhere, it can be connected to him. It's a long shot
a JSON with those codes kind of be similar to serial codes on dollar bills.
They're all individual numbers. So yeah, it's similar. It's the crypto version of that.
Yeah. So look out for these codes. If these are the codes, this is the stolen book. Good
luck with that. So power of the gods did indeed report the alleged crime to authorities only to find out there was nothing they could do because cryptocurrency is still largely unregulated, as we just talked about. And as you can imagine, after sharing his story, he heard from numerous people who encountered similar experiences. So I didn't go on the Reddit and like, read all the comments, but I think a lot of people have been chiming in about like, Hey, this is what happened to me. And you know, blah, blah, blah, this link or that link, or whatever happened, but more and more people. I mean, listen, $14 billion last year was stolen. Lots of people are losing it.
Jason, let me ask you, you steal the crypto. Can I steal the crypto? What do we do my crypto? Anybody I still crypto, what do I do with it? How do I hide it or spend it? Or launder it? Right? You don't have to launder it? That's the idea. Yeah. But
I also think it's the blockchain is like readily available to everybody. So you can go on there a peer to peer network and sell it. So some of these services like Coinbase and other ones, you can go on there and buy you can hold and you can also sell to others.
So they could theoretically sell the stolen crypto.
Yeah, I could say hey, so I cut you a good deal here. I got XYZ in my vault. I'm looking to get liquid and so boom, sell it. So now it's gone to you. So yes, it can quickly get kicked down the road. And it's like that guy still going, Hey, power, the guy just saying why? Where's my crypto? Yeah, believe this. It's pretty scary. So
it is and the thing that I just keep thinking is we're going to be seen more and hearing more. Yes. And this will only grow and grow. Yeah.
We could have a whole show just to podcast about crypto crimes. That's a crypto crime. No,
I felt like it could be like a subcategory. Yeah, it's a crime. Totally crypto crime.
Yeah. So now let's pivot on how crypto scammers attack. Like we heard about the Trojan horse idea, you know, you click a thing and this malware gets on your system. And then it pulls out those passwords and anything else which is blows my mind that that can happen. Right. So the safest ways is not be online. Have a computer that's not online.
You know what I've been talking about that for years about having a separate computer that's not connected to the web.
You could have that one. And if you want to check your stuff on your own programs, yes, you could do that. But now software's all downloadable, so you'd have to it's a step, but you could create that atmosphere you really could. That environment. So one of these increasingly common scams that is out there now is entitled, rug pools, you know, pull the old rug out. Sal, are you familiar with this one at all?
No, I've never heard of that term. Okay, well, you've
heard of pulling the rug out from so this is how it works. It does Belapur attracts investors to a new cryptocurrency project, which is hot now like, Hey, we're gonna do this startup, we're gonna create our own coin, or we're gonna do a marketplace, right? So you're an investor like this sounds great crypto is everywhere. And then the developer pulls out pulls the rug out before the project is built and delivered. So this leaves the investors with a worthless currency if they're building a coin of some sort, and the scammers make off with millions of dollars. And in 2021, this accounted for 37% of all cryptocurrency scams, a jump from 1% the previous year. So this is a hot trend, hey, I got something I want to sell you they're going after bigger money here, right? Hey, we can probably get $10 million seed capital 30, whatever, build this thing. And it's like wait, whatever happened to my product? What happened in my platform? So that's a very specific scam, but obviously accounting for a lot of money.
Okay, so these guys these scammers may not be saying, Give me your money to invest in my cryptocurrency but give me your money. So I
developed a platform or software. It's related, but it's not like Hey, where's my crypto? It's a different it's in the ballpark? It's part of that 14 billion Sure,
sure. Invest in my crypto venture. Yeah. And then it's all a ruse,
like the one we did recently, the crime we did recently with a Ponzi scheme from the Hollywood actor 650 million, hey, I'm gonna make that movie I'm going to make that movie to we're gonna and then never made any of
it if that guy scam was very plausible. I, you and I as Netflix viewers, because he was like, Hey, I'm working with getting these foreign films on Netflix. That sounds legitimate, you know, right. Well, and this
sounds legitimate to someone who's looking to get in the crypto space.
Yeah, yeah, I want to get in on this ground floor. And you've got money, right funding
behind you, other backers. Another relatively easy and popular scam involves the creation of new tokens on Aetherium. Oh, that's another platform I really like or another blockchain and then listing them this new token, this new coin on a peer to peer marketplace or decentralized exchange. So Sal, in other words, me, I've just created some worthless Jason Connell coins, and I'd very much like to sell them to you. So you can take this is great. And they're worth nothing. Right? Because people don't know, there's so many coins out there. And different things. It's like, yeah, okay, this could take off, and people are looking for the next Dogecoin. And it's like, most of it is just garbage. Honestly, I just stick to Bitcoin, and Aetherium. Because Aetherium is not just a platform, it's a coin. Now, there's a lot of other ones that people like, but I've like tried and true. I'm sticking with those guys. And don't give up just want to have some fun, like a couple dollars and Doge. But there's so many coins if you study the marketplace. So yeah, this is becoming something you know, they build something up, they put some Instagram behind it, they give a little flavor as if it's inflated. It's this popular thing. And people are looking for trends. What's new, the next big thing?
I just should hope that anybody who buys into anything, has done plenty of research and is educated. Because anytime for the most part someone's scammed. Whether it be a fake gold chain, or fake crypto to the uneducated, exactly the person who does not know.
I'm glad you brought that up. That's a perfect segue for what's next the gold chain? Well, I do have a gold chain for you. Now, let's go over these things that were in this article, and you're gonna read them, but I'm going to set you up. The section was called how to stay safe as a crypto investor. And they listed five things. And Sal, take it away.
Number one should have been written by me. I think you did. Right. It's my antenna. It's my antenna. Number one, keep an eye open for scammers. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is true. Which is sad. That is true in life for many things in many arenas. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is it always
is it always.
Number two, don't open any links or attachments that look suspicious. How about these emails? You get these emails from Amazon, you need to check your Amazon account or you're locked out click here to go back in and then you see who it's from. You're like who said this?
Is Amazon's missing in the URL?
Yeah, ama. Yeah, it's like yeah, believe me. I kept all that stuff. So
good advice. These are these are two really great things. Yeah, because it's not only
crypto. This is almost like anywhere but especially online, especially online anywhere. Number three, enable two factor authentication for online accounts.
Yep. Yep. Very important. It's true. I have no issues with Google and Apple. I always enable it. Same with Amazon. It definitely helps.
It's annoying. It's annoying. It's annoying, but my opinion safer.
My passwords are also very long and elaborate, and they're all different, but it's another layer and you might as well tack it on because that little bit it takes. You're doing yourself a huge service. Trust me, I
know, I'm the first to complain about entering passwords all the damn time and authentication all the damn time, believe me, I'm annoyed by it, but it is better and safer. Yeah, it is better and safer. Number four, look at the 24 hour trading volume of cryptocurrencies to assess liquidity.
Now, I just want to jump in here and clarify something on this particular point. If I may dumb it down for me. I don't know it's dumbing it down. But it's giving more explanation behind it. A cryptocurrencies trading volume is the number of coins that have exchanged hands during a defined period of time, usually 24 hours. In other words, the 24 hour trading volume of cryptocurrency is how much value a coin has been bought and sold over the course of a day. So they're saying, hey, track that, for instance, that thing I just told you about, hey, these new coins on the market, these are hot, just go check the real true value of that. And don't just take someone or some websites word for it. Just do your homework, if you're gonna go in the marketplace.
Well hang on the JSON word to the layperson. Me. Yeah, where would I go? Where would I go to make sure this is the legit?
Well, you can track these things a guy use Apple stocks, or you can just go online, I just use the app because it's on an apple. But you can go on there. And these things are all readily available online, not legitimate sources, or legitimate sources, you don't have to go to the website that tells you to buy it there. Go online third party, type it in. I mean, you could go to Wall Street, you could go to any I like Yahoo Finance. But the app is really handy. Because the app you can plug in the you know, like Bitcoin is BTC dash USD, and it distracts it in click on I'm on it right now. I'm clicking on it. And by the way, crypto doesn't stop moving up and down at the end of trading hours. It never stops. So you know, the stock market stops and stocks are like frozen until they ring the bell again. Yeah, well, crypto just always is moving. Never is never ending. So you can see it in real time. You know, it's like, okay, so what about today it's down, but you can track it back a year. So just do your homework.
So if something seems too good to be true, you can research verify.
And make sure Yeah, you really want to do this? Yes. No, very good. Number five, share,
stay informed and read up on crypto before you make any decisions. Totally agree, I would not go find some cash to buy crypto. I'm gonna say I'm just gonna run and go buy crypto. I'm gonna make sure. At this point, especially. Yeah, especially today. Yeah, I want to make sure I'm making the right decision and doing the right thing and putting my money in the right place.
Yeah, cuz you don't just want to buy it sell. You want to hang on to it. I can't imagine buying it and looking up one day and a hacker took it all. I mean, it can happen like that. Right? And this is that kind of story. I mean, power of the gods is experiencing this. And listen, we're talking about it. And it's in hindsight, and it's like, Oh, poor guy. But just imagine being this person. Like you said earlier, you would just go crazy. Well, after you're done going crazy, crazy mad. The realization sets in? What if that 120 grand was all that you would save and the last five or six years and you're like, Hey, I'm gonna get this new thing. And it's on the up and up, and then it's just gone. I can't even imagine how devastating that would be. I don't even know how you recover. Yeah, the money is all relative. That might be a ton of money for them. It's a ton of money for some people 120k. But I've heard stories where guys lost hundreds of millions in a crypto scam. So it's all relative to what you can afford what you have. But this is truly horrible. And I hope more people can put up more barriers for these hackers and more points of resistance. Because they're coming man.
Yeah, scams are at an all time high. online scams, especially now at an all time high. And anything that's at an all time high related to the web now is only going to be higher, more sophisticated. Yes. And always one step ahead. always one step ahead of the authorities, and especially probably easier it's almost like the wild wild west in the world of cryptocurrencies unrest, where are they there anywhere in the world? And then But then meanwhile, though, you're gonna have some pushback, if you want to start regulating crypto, well, now it's just becoming the dollar now them.
So this is where we're going to take this conversation as we fade out to wrap it up. But to further protect investors, crypto regulation could very well be on the way just as you pointed out, so now this could entail the US creating a central bank for digital currencies and potentially even creating a digital currency I've heard about This for many, many months now. So I'm sure something's happened. So this is becoming too big of a marketplace and unregulated and there's money to be had. And so we'll have to stay tuned as things evolved in this rapidly growing cryptocurrency space. And in the meantime, Sal, protect your investments and let us all learn a valuable lesson from
power of the gods. And a power of the gods. Our heart goes out to you. Yeah, this really sucks. And we're sorry that this happened to you.
And I'm really glad that even though they wanted to remain anonymous, I'm glad that they shared their story.
Yeah, that is important. You don't believe me? I'm one of these guys that wants to bury my trauma. But it is good to share for the benefit of everyone else people can relate people can be where it is good to share things in life. It actually is.
Yeah, I mean, just being on this show. Maybe someone's like, ah, you know what, I'm not going to keep this thing plugged in. I got all my crypto on here. And I mean, even if it's not in your computer, you got to put it somewhere safe. And then you gotta have a duplicate copy. Like, what if that was destroyed? What if your crypto was? I mean, there's a lot of stories like that. It's on this flash drive? Holy cow. Where's my flash drive? Like you reach in your pocket? Hoping you found your phones? You know, can you imagine? Where is that? Do you have one somewhere else? Do you have one in a safe deposit box? Like that becomes its own burden? And yeah, I mean, it's just part of it in this space. If you're not going to trust it to be in an online vault. I like to use a few things. I had to cover my bets. I'd probably have one store. If I had a lot of crypto that is one on a flash drive in a vault one probably in an online safe area, but then I'm not going to be using it every day. I'm
talking about it. Are you talking about different accounts are those are all the same accounts
are different accounts. That's what I've done in my Sony all
holdings. So don't put all your eggs in one basket. I
totally believe in that. Because let's just say you get wiped out on one of them or even two of them. It's like you've still got a little bit here and there. It is what it is. It's a scary market. But our age and younger have adjusted and we trust online banking. I mean, there is generation saw that even that just is too much for them to handle Correct.
I know people that do not do any online banking whatsoever. We do it
on our phones, you know, it doesn't matter to us. But there are people that Forget it. I'm driving down the bank. I'm dropping these five cents off. I'm putting my account. So we're progressed past that. But you've got to build some barriers in here and you have to be safe.
It Jason I'm just laughing because my talk about like keeping your privacy right. Yeah, my mom hates Facebook. She's like, I do not want people to know what I had for lunch. It's none of their business. Yeah, what I had for lunch. That's the generation she's from online banking. She doesn't want you to know what she had for lunch today. Your damn business,
you're never gonna get her routing number or whatever. However, people of that generation happy to cut you a check. Well guess what's on your check your routing, the bank account number, your routing, your name, your address, your phone number. Some of them have socials, it's like, you know, really, let's take a look at this for a second.
What cash is the cleanest but it's also risky. Hey, get hacked into your crypto online. It's nothing get the $1,000 Robbed off your person, you know?
And then it's like, no, I had $1,000 on me. Well, why or why'd you have 10 grand
10 grand stolen in the mugging prove it prove or why did
you have it on you? What are you doing immediately that pushes you into the you know?
With that money? Yeah. So
it's a tricky thing. It's a tricky thing navigate but anyway, that covers the crypto investor loses $120,000 with one mouse click and 2021 We can all learn something from this. Let's all be safe out there. And unfortunately, Sal, this is not going to be the last crypto crime on that's a crime.
Unfortunately, no, everybody, beware, look out.
So unlike your confidence, and always use the right tools for the job with manscaped
and get 20% off and free shipping with the code. That's a firstname.lastname@example.org
So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to the that's a crime podcast as well as the that's a crime YouTube Live Channel. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
And for all your listeners that enjoy sharing your thoughts. You can leave us a review on Apple podcasts, send us a direct message or post a comment on any that's a crime social media platform.
We also highly recommend checking out our other podcast and visiting just curious media.com