Online dating scam results in woman losing $390,000.

After falling for an online dating scam, a Tennessee woman claimed she had lost $390,000.

Online dating scam results in woman losing $390,000.

Nicole Hutchinson, 24, lost her mom. She inherited her mother’s house and sold it to split the proceeds. She was to use the $280,000 she inherited to support her family and build a California life.

Hutchinson started using "Hinge" online dating site to meet new people before she moved to California. Hutchinson said that she met "Hao", a man calling himself "Hao," and became close friends. Anna Werner, CBS News Consumer Investigative Correspondent, said that she felt a strong bond with him after he revealed to her that he was from the same Chinese town as Hutchinson's adopted home.

He was interested in investing and cryptocurrency, and suggested that she could also invest.

"I don't know anything about cryptocurrency. I don't even know much about cryptocurrency. She said that she was skeptical. Hutchinson stated that Hao had reassured her about this area being one he was familiar with.

Hutchinson claimed that Hao instructed her to open an account on She said that Hao sent her a link and instructed her to transfer money through the new link to what he claimed was a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

She began small, but she quickly started to invest larger sums.

He kept repeating things like "Look at this money that will help your family." She said, "Obviously that's exactly what I wanted to do."

Her father suggested that she invest when her account started showing profit. He did.

Hutchinson decided to cash out when their combined accounts reached $1.2 million by December. The site informed her that she would need to pay an estimated $380,000 tax bill before she could withdraw the money.

She found out that cryptocurrency investments were not real. She discovered that all her funds and those of her father had been transferred to the hands of the scammer.

"I made a mess of my life." Hutchinson stated that he had "messed up the life of my father."

He comforted her as she told her father the story, even though she was crying.

"All I could do was hug her and say 'It’s okay. It's okay.' It was difficult. It was difficult. It was hard. We lost everything," Melvin Hutchinson stated.

They are not the only ones who suffer from cryptocurrency scams. A new report has shown that victims of these scams lost $7.7 billion in 2021.

Rich Sanders, co-founder of Cipherblade, investigates cryptocurrency frauds. He described Hutchinson’s transactions as a "pig butchering scam" when he examined them.

Sanders stated, "The name really comes out of the fattening up prior to the slaughter."

Hutchinson found that her money was not in legitimate cryptocurrency accounts, but she was told by the crooks to transfer it to digital wallets owned by the scammers.

Cipherblade reviewed additional accounts that Cipherblade claims are linked to the same scammers. CBS News was informed by the company that scammers could have stolen more money than $20 million.

Sanders stated that the money went likely to an organized ring made up of scammers from Asia, who prey on unexperienced victims.

Hutchinson stated that he played off the fact that he didn't know anything about crypto and that he was naive.

Hutchinson, her father and their RV are now their home. They hope that sharing their story will help others avoid this scam.

"I hope that others won't fall for it. She said that if sharing her story helps others, then she is so grateful. advises customers to ensure that any accounts they are transferring money into are legitimate.

According to Hinge, the company takes a proactive approach when dealing with threats and immediately shuts down wallets that are linked to scams. Hinge, a dating app, said it takes fraud seriously and has trained content moderators to look for evidence.


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