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Crypto Scammers Forced Singer To Film Hostage-Style Video Before Taking Her Money

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Crypto Scammers Forced Singer To Film Hostage-Style Video Before Taking Her Money

Cryptocurrency scammers made a singer in Australia record a hostage-style video, before stealing her money.

Emma Tomlinson, from Brisbane, said she ended up having a 'very big breakdown' as a result of the scam, which all started when someone posing as a friend on Instagram asked her to sign up for a giveaway.

Emma said she lost thousands. Credit: A Current Affair
Emma said she lost thousands. Credit: A Current Affair
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"All of a sudden she asked for my Instagram details and I innocently gave my email and then all of a sudden my Instagram got hacked and I was completely locked out and couldn't get back in," the 22-year-old told A Current Affair.

"I went into a state of shock. I couldn't believe it had happened."

She was then told she would get her account back once she filmed herself endorsing a bitcoin investment scam - which she duly did.

In the video, she said: "Hi everyone, I've just invested in bitcoin mining and received a profit in three hours ... the business is legit and definitely worthwhile and the person I am working with is real."

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The hackers then shared the video with her followers, in a bid to scam them - and this was far from the end of the line for Emma too.

"They said you have to pay $200 and they made me download an app," she said.

She claims she was made to film a hostage-style video to rope others into the scam. Credit: A Current Affair
She claims she was made to film a hostage-style video to rope others into the scam. Credit: A Current Affair

"Now the app they made me download is called trust. They then made sure I sent screenshots of my movements on this app and how I paid them $200."

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In total, Emma said the hackers got $3,000 AUD (£1,736) off her, after they created a website on which they threatened to sell fake explicit images of her.

"It said, 'for all new signups free shower videos for a month'," Emma said.

"It just disgusted me."

Emma said she got nowhere with Instagram's help account and her calls were unanswered. Now she's calling on the company to do better.

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She said: "I had a very big breakdown. Yes it may be a social media account, but when it is a part of your business and you've worked eight hard years on it, building your audience, it was everything to me.

The scammers extorted Emma. Credit: A Current Affair
The scammers extorted Emma. Credit: A Current Affair

"Step up your game, because this is very scary and it does ruin someone's life." 

A spokesperson for Meta - the parent company of Instagram - detailed the range of security measures in place to help users.

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They told A Current Affair: "We use a combination of technology, human review, and user reports to find and remove violating content, including scams, and we encourage people to report suspicious content when they see it. We provide our community with robust in-app tools to report any content they believe violates our guidelines.

"Account safety is our community's first line of defence. We encourage our community to pick strong and unique passwords, to never share them with anyone, and to turn on two-factor authentication in their settings to protect their account.

"Additionally, we recently launched security check-up worldwide, a feature which guides people, whose accounts may have been hacked, through the steps needed to secure them. This includes checking login activity, reviewing profile information, confirming the accounts that share login information and updating account recovery contact information such as phone number or email."

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: _emma_tomlinson_/Instagram

Topics: News, Australia, Crime

Jake Massey
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