Township Woman Loses $312K In Cryptocurrency Scam

A 53-year-old township woman was scammed out of more than $300,000 late last year in what police call a cryptocurrency scam.

The woman, whose name was redacted from a copy of the Incident Report obtained by the Franklin Reporter & Advocate through an Open Public Records Act request, told township police that she lost the money on four occasions in mid- to late-December 2022.

The woman reported that she met the scammer in early November 2022 on the social media platform LInkedIn, where she was looking for a job.

The woman, who is Asian-American, said she and the man, who called himself “Hao Chen,” chatted on the app for several weeks, including in Mandarin Chinese, before the topic of investments was broached.

The victim said the man initially introduced her to Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, before moving to Crypto, another exchange.

The woman told police that before she invested, she verified the platform with another Linkedin user going by the name “Corin Jiang.” She said she now believes that “Corin Jiang” was part of the scam team.

The victim had to use a currency exchange to to covert her money to be able to be invested, according to the incident report. She told police that she believed “Hao Chen” controlled that exchange.

The victim told police that she initially invested a small amount, $500, in Coinbase, which was wired back to her bank, according to the incident report.

The victim told police that she saw a small profit from that investment, but then Coinbase cancelled her account for an unknown reason. “Hao Chen” then convinced her to invest heavily in Crypto, she told police.

The woman told police that she wired teh following amounts to Crypto:

  • $10,000 on December 12, 2022
  • $150,000 on December 16, 2022
  • $100,000 on December 27, 2022
  • $52,000 on December 29, 2022.

The victim told police that she was told she had to pay a $300,000 “advance tax” before she could receive any return on her money. FTPD Officer Frank Mahon said in the incident report that he advised her not to pay it.

Mahon said he also advised the woman to contact a fraud alert company, and to change her passwords. She said she was going to close the account she was using because “Hao Chen” had some details about it.

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