Victim of cryptocurrency fraud thanks us for return of £8,500

Victim of cryptocurrency fraud thanks us for return of £8,500 after his bank, under instruction from Financial Ombudsman Service, repays cash

Refund: Scam victim Andrew France

Refund: Scam victim Andrew France

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

Last week, he was told that his bank – under instruction from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – would be repaying the £8,500 he had lost, plus interest at 8 per cent per annum. 

‘Thank you for all your help,’ he said. ‘I would not 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. Requests from him to close his account – after being bombarded with texts from an InvestXE representative urging him to keep depositing more money – fell on deaf ears. 

The platform’s website implied it is regulated by the St Vincent & The Grenadines Financial Services Authority, but it is not. 

The authority does not grant licences to companies which trade foreign exchange or complex financial instruments. 

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

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

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

In its letter to Andrew explaining the redress deal struck with Barclays, the FOS says the offer ‘matches cases of this nature’. 

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