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Joplin man loses $35,000 in online investment scams

Two scams involve cryptocurrency mining equipment and web production services.

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A Joplin man lost $35,000 in two separate investment scams involving website production services and cryptocurrency mining equipment.

 In March, the man reported to the Better Business Bureau Springfield office that he lost $20,000 in 2016, when he paid a man to build an e-commerce site. He said he contacted the individual, who claimed to be from Seattle, and was told the website would be connected to a “popular online retailer.” He also was promised a percentage of sales generated by the retailer’s website, according to a BBB news release. The Joplin man, whose name was not disclosed by the BBB, said the website was active until his payments to the alleged scammer amounted to $20,000 and then the site shut down.

In the same year, he also lost another $15,000 when he thought he was purchasing equipment for mining cryptocurrency. The Joplin man says he was contacted by salesperson claiming to be with a company in Arizona, which sold him three machines that would integrate with his computer for mining. The salesperson allegedly told the man he would make $60,000 annually from the products. After the $15,000 check was cashed, the man said the products he purchased were never delivered, and he was unable to contact the salesman.

The Joplin man reported both incidents to authorities in Washington state and Arizona, however, has not recovered the lost money.

“Unfortunately, he trusted people he did not know and wound up getting hurt,” BBB Springfield Regional Director Stephanie Garland said in the release. “If someone asks you to make a substantial financial investment, make sure you investigate it thoroughly.”

In BBB’s 2017 Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, online purchase scams ranked No. 1, followed by investment schemes. Consumers reported a median loss of $2,310 in 2017, according to the report.


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