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Thousands of crypto investors are scammed every day by bad players in the industry, and while most of these innocent victims are unknown, a few have spoken up to help others avoid falling victim to such scams.
Jacob Riglin, the 26-year-old London-based photographer and creator of the “Dream World” NFT, took to Twitter to explain how he was involved in a $90,000 scam.
After the response to my previous tweets about the $90,000 scam I was involved in, I wanted to share more details on it to help warn any others of falling victim to it.
The Full Story
Riglin said he was contacted by the scammer, under the name Philippe Maloof, who claimed to be from Canbury Properties Limited, a leading international asset management company based in the UK.
Maloof claimed that he had a client that was interested in Riglin’s artwork and had a huge budget, enough to buy several pieces of Riglin’s NFTs.
Riglin noted that he ran a background check on the company’s website, email, and the UK public sector information website, Gov.Uk, to verify the authenticity of the company.
Everything checked out and he even received the details of the supposed buyer, including a passport scan and a letter of intent (LOI) that was duly signed by him.
After several conversations via email and phone calls, they arranged a physical meeting in Barcelona, and Riglin added that he felt he had done his due diligence, considering that he told them how he intends to run the entire transaction through the NFT platform, Super Rare, and they had allegedly agreed.
All this while, Riglin pointed out that the agreement had been working out just like every legitimate business deal.
However, it started turning odd when it came to the issue of commission. They told him that he will give them their commission after he receives payment from the supposed client.
Although it felt strange as to why they stressed that point, Riglin felt it was nothing out of the ordinary since he would have rightly been paid first before they would receive their commission.
With the conviction that everything was still normal, Riglin flew out to Barcelona to meet with the alleged director of the company, Richard Bardaglian, and two of his partners.
He met them at a restaurant and they looked the part. So, he proceeded to show them the NFTs and go over the deal with them.
Another major red flag came up when they asked him to prove that he actually had money in his digital wallet to send them their commission once he got paid.
Unsuspectingly, he logged into his wallet and showed them that he indeed had funds to pay them, and that was his undoing.
$90,000 Vanish Without a Trace
Riglin explained that nothing happened immediately and their meeting continued as planned, with his laptop open for most of the meeting, including when he left the table for a bathroom break for a minute.
When he got back to his hotel room, however, he discovered that Richard had blocked his number and was forced to check his wallet only to discover that it had been emptied.
“This was probably one of the lowest points of my life, alone in a city after being scammed out of money you’ve worked so hard to make, it’s a dark feeling that I never want to go through again.”
Not the First
Riglin’s experience is just one of the many cases of crypto-related scams that are becoming increasingly popular.
In a similar case, a Maltese man was arrested a few weeks ago for allegedly stealing $700,000 worth of crypto from his drinking buddy