In an online investment scam, it’s been reported that a West Australian woman has lost more than $600,000 to that, used a bogus endorsement, by mining billionaire Andrew Forrest and created a fake ABC News articles to publicize the scam on LinkedIn and Facebook.
She saw advertisements for an online trading platform, while browsing on social media in March, and over several months she transferred almost a total of $670,000 to the scammers, by firmly believing that it was being invested on her behalf.
She said at first she believed that the site was legitimate as she saw the advertisements on Facebook and LinkedIn that also included the fake interviews with Mr Forrest, who claimed to be from the reputable news agencies, including the ABC.
When she asked for some of her investment to be repaid, the fraudsters transferred back almost $50,000, while the scam was running, she was sent a $2,700 Louis Vuitton handbag, as a birthday present.
The women said, “This scam was so convincing, it’s like watching news on the television,”
“If you were to watch the news on the television, you would believe the news on the television, you don’t go questioning and calling back the legitimacy of that news.”
“When I knew that I had been scammed, I felt terrible. I felt I may not be the person I think I am,” she said.
“You blame yourself. I didn’t know what my husband would say.
“But he’s a beautiful gentleman … he didn’t say for once, ‘you’ve screwed up’.
“I knew I’d screwed up, but not once did he point it out.”
Andrew Forrest’s spokeswoman said that his office had become aware of the scam in early 2019.
“We are doing what we can to try and alert the various social media platforms on which these scams are perpetuated,” she said in a statement.
“We have encouraged our staff to report incidents using platform protocols”.