Annual Financial Awareness Campaign
18-24 March 2024

Joe lost €2,250 after trying to invest €250 in Bitcoin via a bogus investment firm

Joe invested €250 in bitcoin. Following this, Joe rang his bank and told it that he had invested €250 and someone had taken control of his computer to do so. The bank took no action following this information.

Joe then changed his mind and rang the company involved to request a withdrawal of his €250. It advised him that to withdraw the €250, he would need to send it €1,000. Joe had the company set up as a beneficiary on his online banking and transferred the €1,000 using a security code. Joe’s bank acted on his request and transferred the funds.

Joe was contacted by the supposed bitcoin investment company to be told that his investment was now worth €2,000 and he would need to lodge another €1,000 to release the funds. Again, Joe transferred €1,000 using a security code supplied by his bank. Again, at Joe’s request, his bank transferred the funds.

Joe never received any funds back from the “investment” company. Joe alerted his bank to this possible fraud and the bank advised him to contact the Gardaí. The bank also made a request for the return of Joe’s lost funds of €2,250. Unfortunately, this recall was not successful as there were no funds left in the fraudulent company’s account.

Joe made a complaint to the FSPO regarding the bank’s conduct. He claimed the bank should have advised him not to transfer money to the company. Joe’s bank believed that he was responsible for the loss of funds, as he had used the bank’s security measures to authorise payment. However, since it had not acted on Joe’s information provided in his first call to the bank, when Joe had advised it someone had taken control of his computer to make the transfer, it offered Joe €1,000 in full and final settlement of his complaint due to the service issues experienced by him as the bank dealt with his fraud complaint. Joe accepted this offer.