Bitcoin fraud victim, 75, loses £11k in life savings

Frances Foster

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Frances Foster said the bogus company she saw online promised high returns

A 75-year-old woman is warning others of the dangers of an online scam that has cost her her life’s savings.

Frances Foster, from Plymouth, lost £11,000 to a bogus bitcoin company she saw online promising high returns.

She said someone from the firm even called her in December to wish her a “happy Christmas”, adding it showed how she was taken in by the scam.

Ms Foster, who has skydived for charity, said she was telling the story to “help someone not do what I did”.

‘It’s been awful’

The hospital ward clerk clicked on a bogus advert on the MSN news website last year for LTC Markets, which claimed to be based in Switzerland.

After first paying £250, she went on to lose the rest of her money after making other payments.

She said: “It’s been awful. I sent my first amount of money to them in September and now £11,000 is all gone.”

She said she had contacted her bank and fraud charities, including ActionFraud, but said she was not hopeful of seeing her money again.

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Frances Foster said she made a number of payments to the bogus firm

She said: “I can’t do anything about it but maybe I can help someone else not to do what I’ve done.

“As everybody has told me: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

A decentralised virtual currency, or bitcoin, can be produced or “mined” by computers solving complex algorithms.

The Financial Conduct Authority said bitcoin was an “unregulated product” in the UK.

The BBC has contacted MSN owner Microsoft for comment.

It said on its website it “provided policies to help ads meet approval and protect consumers and businesses from being victimised”.

Advertising for “cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related products including, but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, and cryptocurrency wallets” was not permitted, it added.

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