February 24, 2024
  • Three investors tell DL News how they were swindled on an obscure exchange called GateEx.
  • Scammers used LinkedIn, WeChat, and Line to lure targets in Silicon Valley, Australia, and Taiwan.
  • Fraudsters are deploying new tactics in ‘pig butchering’ crimes.

The story is depressingly familiar. A woman reaches out by text, WhatsApp, or LinkedIn. She wants advice, or maybe she entered the wrong number, and starts a conversation. Eventually, she dupes targets into sending money, then disappears.

Victims can’t believe they fell for it. Todd is one of them.

“I could tell she was a really educated, intelligent person,” Todd told DL News of his conversations with an operator he knew only as “Linda.” “I didn’t suspect that she was setting up a trap to lure me into the investment scam.”

Lured into scheme

Todd, 58, lives near Silicon Valley and works as a software engineering director. He and two others, who spoke to DL News on the condition their names were changed, were lured into a scheme that looks like insider trading.

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In 16 transactions, Todd sent money to a cryptocurrency exchange called GateEx at Linda’s behest, according to texts and data from his digital wallet seen by DL News.

He converted his cash into Ether and USDT, the stablecoin issued by Tether. A few months later, he had lost almost $2 million.

Two other investors, Tony in Taiwan and Glenn in Australia, said they were also ripped off by scams that directed them…

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