Cryptocurrency fraud victim thanks us for £8,500 return

Cryptocurrency fraud victim thanks us for £8,500 return after his bank, at the direction of the Financial Ombudsman Service, refunded cash

Reimbursement: Andrew France, victim of the scam

Semi-retired microbiologist Andrew France thanked The Mail on Sunday for helping him recover money he lost last year to an offshore cryptocurrency trading platform.

Last week he was told his bank – on instructions from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – would repay the £8,500 he had lost, plus 8% interest a year.

“Thank you for all your help,” he said. “I wouldn’t have got my money back without you.”

Andrew, from Shrewsbury, saw his money disappear after trading crypto assets through InvestXE, a company incorporated in Dominica. Demands for him to close his account – after he was bombarded with text messages from an InvestXE representative urging him to keep depositing more money – fell on deaf ears.

The platform’s website implied that it was regulated by the Financial Services Authority of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but that is not the case.

The authority does not grant licenses to companies that trade in currencies or complex financial instruments.

Andrew had asked his bank, Barclays, for a refund because they had failed to protect him from an investment scam. But he refused, arguing that his payments to InvestXE were made through a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange.

The Mail on Sunday brought Andrew’s case to light last year, publishing extraordinary text exchanges between him and InvestXE employee Joseph.

“Give me 10,000 pounds just for this week,” Joseph said. ‘Apply for a loan. We need this money. Ten days later: “I don’t want to work with you anymore unless you prove me and trust me another 10k in this business by Monday.” Period.’

In its letter to Andrew explaining the remediation agreement with Barclays, the FOS says the offer “fits cases of this nature”.

Warnings about investors being scammed by InvestXE are widespread on Trustpilot. In a warning, the consumer review website says the company posted fake positive reviews.

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