Upward Scam – Sad Story (Pig Butchering Scam)

Today we’d like to cover a Upward scam, which according to one Better Business Bureau (BBB) review, has defrauded one person of more than a quarter million dollars.

Upward Scam – The Full Story

According to the review which was posted on January 1 by a person in North Carolina, the scammer, who went by the name “Andrew” (Andrea) Garcia, met the victim on the Christian dating app Upward and quickly developed a relationship.

“Andrew” claimed to be an Italian living in the US since 2013 and working as a senior data analyst with a background in finance and an MBA from Berkeley.

The complainer reports that on 9/8/22, he “met” a person named “Andrew” who provided me with the following information:

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  • phone number (917-905-3138, now disconnected)
  • Telegram username (@A_ww0816, he erased all our messages on 10/26 after final payment),
  • and said he is from Italy and has been in the US since 2013, residing in Wesley Heights, Charlotte, NC.

He told him that he has parents who are alive, and a 4-year-younger sister, that his birthday is on 7/18/86, and that he went to Berkeley and has degrees in finance and an MBA. He is a Sr Data analyst, working on market research trial data and financial data analysis. He also recommended Chase bank as the bank he uses.

After developing a relationship over a few weeks, the vicim started making deposits on 9/22 into Crypto.com and then transferring them to DefiWallet (a smart contract wallet) through the website daytradingwallet.com, which comes up under the site MetaMask.

On 9/25, he withdrew his first (and only) small profit of less than $400.

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    Subsequently, using the daytradingwallet site, he approved (with Andrew’s permission) a couple pop-ups. In early October, the daytradingwallet site read protradingtv.com.

    On 10/12, the site changed to: wdcrhlb.xyz.

    On 10/19, when he attempted to withdraw profits, he received a message stating that his requested withdrawal of funds was frozen.

    The message read:

    Hello, dear customers, in accordance with the IRS regulations on short-term investment income tax for individuals in the United States, in order to ensure that you receive the funds smoothly, you need to prepay 25% of the total account tax within 7 working days.

    Your current account The Total profit is 174,944.75 USDT, and the tax amount is US$ 43,736.

    After the pre-paid tax is completed, it is convenient for you to withdraw cash.

    Please pay the tax in time. After the tax payment is successful, our exchange will send you an email with the IRS tax payment details W2.

    Thank you for your cooperation!

    He inquired to Customer Service about just using the profits to pay the tax, and received this message:

    Hello, you cannot use the account balance to pay your prepaid tax.

    Please complete the tax payment within the specified time. If you maliciously evade tax and pay insufficient tax, you will be subject to the corresponding provisions according to Section 7201 of Title 26 of the United States Code.

    Penalties, up to 5 years in Prison; fines of up to $250,000 (for individuals) or $500,000 (for organizations) for offenders; or both, and court costs, please be aware.

    Upon request, he was then given an “exclusive BTC prepaid tax address.”

    He was going to scrape together funds, and Andrew was going to lend me $20K.

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    He submitted a “payment” of $27,855.98 on 10/26 to the exclusive tax address.

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    When he contacted customer service to confirm the transaction, he noticed the daytradingwallet site again changed, and it was now ntyhwsz.xyz.

    As soon as he messaged Andrew a transaction completed screenshot and asked him to please submit his part, all our Telegram messages disappeared, and his phone number was also disconnected.

    DefiWallet’s customer service wouldn’t respond.

    Currently, his DeFiWallet says he has $376,834.11 USDT in it, of which none is accessible and probably not real profits as Crypto.com customer service told him.

    In total, including personal loans, fees, cash advance, etc, this person lost at least $238,933.50 plus what will be about $27,000 in IRS Taxes since he took out retirement money early including the penalty fee of 10% and taxes on “income.”

    Upward Scam: Analysis

    This is a very sad story and an intricate scam which involves various websites and platform including

    • Upward – an app focused on creating a community for Christian men and Christian women to connect based on similar likes and interests.
    • Crypto.com – a cryptocurrency exchange company based in Singapore
    • daytradingwallet.com – defunct
    • protradingtv.com – defunct
    • wdcrhlb.xyz – defunct
    • ntyhwsz.xyz – defunct

    The first two websites, Upward and Crypto.com, are legitimate websites, while the other websites are fake sites created by the scammer.

    According to Whois information, daytradingwallet.com was registered on August 2, 2022 by weigang Li from shenghuadadao1890, MaoMingShi, GuangDong, China 525000.

    Not surpringly, this is a fake address, according to Google Maps.

    His phone number is +86.18909127877 (86 is a China area code) and his email is turenyi0500@163.com.

    protradingtv.com was registered on September 30, 2022 by mingyang Lin from changanjie167hao, ChuZhouShi, AnHui, China 239000.

    The phone number is +86.19023781223, while the email address is yuanfulan7@163.com.

    And finally, wdcrhlb.xyz and ntyhwsz.xyz were registered on September 26, 2022 by Ye De Rong from ShanDongSheng, China.

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    The similarity between the domains leaves no doubt: The scammer is most likely a Chinese person.

    Bottom Line: Beware of Pig Butchering Scams

    Thanks for reading our Upward Scam Warning.

    To protect yourself from pig butchering scams, it is important to be cautious when investing in any type of investment, especially those that are promoted through social media.

    It is also important to be aware of the tax implications of any investment. If you are filing jointly, you may be eligible for certain tax credits or deductions based on your modified adjusted gross income.

    Before making any investment, it is also crucial to consult a tax professional or financial advisor to understand the tax implications of your investment, including the net investment income tax and the impact on your personal income tax.

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    It is also important to keep records of all text messages, emails and other communications related to the investment and to ensure that the money is being transferred to a reputable bank account.

    If you have lost a significant amount of money to online scams such as the Pig Butchering scam, do not despair! We can help you recover your money.

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