Saghir has not yet explained how he fell for the deception.
- Dan Whitworth
- BBC Radio 4 reporter
Naveed Saghir is a 44-year-old college graduate with a master’s degree in Computer Science who successfully runs his own home theater installation business in the North West of England.
After a lifetime of hard work, regular savings and wise investments, earlier this year he had saved nearly $ 690,000 in Bitcoin.
However, he was misled by online scammers who They stole all his money.
“I have destroyed my life, I changed it for the worse and I need to warn people: if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone,” says Naveed, who now has a mission.
Struggling to overcome the mental and emotional damage of seeing her plans disappear with a ruined financial future, she wants to share her story to try to prevent other people from becoming victims.
“I’ve run my business for the last 20 years and I’ve always been very careful with money,” he explains.
“Whether it’s related to my business or my life, I’ve made every penny count. But I made a bad decision and I they caught“.
Naveed was the victim of a type of fraud known as an “investment scam”.
It occurs when victims are tricked into giving money to people who offer bogus, but often very convincing investments, with the promise of big profits.
“I was watching videos on YouTube, when I found an ad that offered the opportunity to invest in stocks and I filled out a form requesting more information ”.
“The next day I got a call from someone who introduced himself as a customer service agent and I paid $ 350 to start investing.”
“The next day they called me again, this time it was someone who described himself as my account manager and gave me a username and password. for an extremely compelling business website. “
Naveed made his first payment at the end of May and as soon as he took that terrible first step, scammers caught him.
They soon made him believe new lies by promising him higher profits. When he started losing money, they convinced him that he would get the money back and tricked him into continuing to give them more.
At the end of August, he gave them US $ 25,000 and 14.25 in bitcoin, worth close to US $ 690,000, according to the current value of the cryptocurrency.
“I still can’t remember how they managed to fool me,” says Naveed. “I do not know”.
A large number of charities have been calling for fraudulent advertisements to be included in the Online Safety Act which will soon be considered in Parliament.
The Institute for Policy on Money and Mental Health has warned that millions of Internet users, particularly those with mental health problems, are in danger of losing money or sensitive personal information at the hands of scammers.
Lisa Forte, who works for the firm Red Goat Cyber Security, says that not only is Naveed unlikely to get some of his money back, but it is also unlikely that he will get justice done.
“Even if the police do initiate an investigation, which is unlikely, even if they find the criminals responsible, which is highly unlikely, what are they supposed to do when the criminals are in another country where the British police don’t have jurisdiction?”.
“There is practically no instance to turn to in relation to bitcoin. It is a form of currency that operates outside of regulation compared to ‘normal’ money and because of this, because it is not regulated, consumer protection just doesn’t exist“.
Forte recommends three things people can do to try to protect themselves and to prevent their family and friends from becoming victims.
“One, investigate whatever you are going to put your assets into. There are many reliable sources.
Two, understand what bitcoin is, as you should with any investment; research how it works and know the pros and cons.
Three, if someone says they can use your investment to make big profits in a short amount of time, that’s the time when the alarm bells should sound. Legitimate investment platforms they don’t make those kinds of promises. “