Many people are making big bucks out of cryptocurrency but it's also become the latest method for scammers trying to steal your cash.
Phillip Savage from Brisbane is a 69-year-old grandfather who was already battling a range of serious health issues, including liver cancer.
But it was clicking on an ad on Facebook, supposedly from a celebrity endorsing cryptocurrency, that really shattered his life.
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"They were bringing up ideas and money numbers and things which mesmerised me into a situation where I thought, 'Well these guys sound pretty good, they are going to do a lot of good for me'," Savage said.
He eventually lost close to $350,000 of his life savings.
"One of their main thrusts of their sales pitch was that they would talk all the time, they would be forever talking, stopping me from thinking very deeply about it," he said.
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Social media is the conduit for a lot of scammers finding their victims.
Melbourne's Ian Pothecary lost $12,000 after clicking on an Instagram ad promoting cryptocurrency.
"Within five minutes, I'm getting phone calls and over the next few days I got probably 100 phone calls from different people all over the place," the excavator driver said.
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He eventually went with a company called Blue Royal, who promised they would show him how to make money investing in cryptocurrency, after setting up his account on his computer.
Instead they took full control of his device via a remote access program called Anydesk, allowing them to steal his money right in front of his eyes.
"He was talking very fast and the cursor was just going all over the place on the screen, so he knew exactly what he was doing," he said.
"I had a bit of a panic attack and just turned the computer off and pulled the internet cable out."
Before cryptocurrency arrived, scammers relied on money transfer companies like Western Union, which quickly became a red flag that you might be involved in a scam.
Now they do it faster and more efficiently using cryptocurrency, making the victim think it's an "investment" before willingly sending their hard-earned cash into the digital world, never to be seen again.
Lachin Jacob runs a Sydney construction business and was tricked after receiving a call from someone claiming to be from his bank, ANZ.
"How I trust them is because he knows everything about my accounts. He know(s) my name, he know(s) my business name, you know, exactly all the transactions from the last two years," Jacob said.
He sent them $5000 from his ANZ business account to Binance – a commonly used exchange platform, allowing people to change real dollars into cryptocurrency.
After being shown a small amount of fake returns by the scammers, he transferred more money eventually losing $333,000.
"When I tried to withdraw $300,000 that's where the problem came from, their language changed, the friendliness disappeared, they weren't friendly anymore," Jacob said.
Acting Assistant Commissioner for the AFP's Cyber Command Chris Goldsmid said they see cryptocurrency as "an emerging threat".
"We see it as a laundering mechanism where criminals will steal money, then move it into cryptocurrency, to facilitate the laundering process," Goldsmid said.
"What I would encourage the public to do, is to be vigilant and do their due diligence around things like exchanges that they're using."
He encouraged anyone who thinks they've become a victim of cyber crime to report it at Report Cyber.
Savage's daughter Maddy wishes his bank did more to try and stop her ailing father from sending so much money, especially as he's been scammed before.
"So, not just a simple phone call to say, 'Did you make this transfer? OK great' – maybe just some more probing questions or some greater protocols around such a high amount of money being moved into something that is crypto," she said.
A CBA spokesperson said the bank encourages customers to consult a "family member or friend as a sounding board before authorising a high-value transaction".
"Customers need to remain vigilant, protect their banking details and be smart about who they send money to."
"We're always very concerned when we're made of aware of frauds and scams affecting customers and the wider community. Despite the commitment and best efforts of regulators, law enforcement agencies and the banking industry, such frauds and scams sadly still occur.
"Customers need to remain vigilant, protect their banking details and be smart about who they send money to. If a customer notices an unusual transaction on their account, they should contact us immediately to report it.
"We encourage customers as part of their due diligence to take the extra time to consult a trusted family member or friend as a sounding board before authorising a high-value transaction to an unfamiliar recipient.
""We have implemented a number of initiatives to help prevent scams and we continue to focus on doing more to further protect our customers when making payments.
"If you think you have been scammed or if you notice a transaction you didn't make, contact your bank immediately. The best chance of recovering funds is when action is taken as soon as possible."
ANZ does not comment on any specific customer details.
However, we are aware of this matter and have been working to help the customer.
ANZ has robust safety and security measures in place to protect customers when transacting online.
We encourage all customers to perform sufficient checks before transferring funds or giving details to anyone proposing urgent investment opportunities, even if they are known to them.
To reduce the risk of scams, customers can learn more about the different types and how to protect themselves and sign up for alerts from the ACCC's Scamwatch.
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