I’m penniless after $200k of my money was locked up in account I can’t access – I had to get a loan & even that vanished

AN Oregon man fell victim to an online scam that lost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

After taking out a loan to access his cryptocurrency, he was left with nothing.

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Dennis Corey lost $200,000 after investing in cryptocurrency trade exchange scam onlineCredit: FOX 12

Dennis Corey shared his story with local Fox affiliate KPTV last year in an effort to spread awareness about internet scams.

The Portland native revealed he had already forked over $200,000 before realizing the cryptocurrency trade exchange wasn’t real.

“I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to get out of it, how I’m going to get my bills paid off,” Corey told KPTV.

It all began when a man, who Corey thought was a mutual friend, reached out to him via Facebook.

Read More On Scams and Fraud

The pair chatted online and the messages soon went from flirty to business-like.

Corey said the man offered him an investment opportunity through crypto trading, even loaning him the money to get started.

“We started doing little trades like that, I put in $1,000 and then put in another $1,000,” Corey said.

“He’s like, ‘If we get to the next level, you know if you put in $50,000, then you can make some higher trades, more money.'”

Using an app he thought was legitimate, Corey watched his investments grow.

However, when he tried to withdraw his profits he found there was an obstacle in his way.

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“They started saying you need to pay a tax fee,” Corey explained.

He took out a loan to pay the supposed fee only to be told he would also be charged certification and transfer fees.

Corey had soon wiped his savings and taken out advancements on his credit cards to access his money.

“Meanwhile, they are sending me threatening messages, saying, ‘If you don’t pay me back, I’m going to sue you, my lawyers will find you, you think I can’t find you?’” he said.

When he had no more money left to steal, the scammers vanished.

“I’m emotionally drained, physically drained, psychologically drained,” said Corey, who reported his losses to Portland police, the FBI, and the Oregon Department of Justice.

Kieran Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Portland office, described the situation as a tried-and-true social media scam.

Tips for avoiding online scams

KPTV rounded up some helpful advice to avoid online cryptocurrency scams:

  • If the deal or opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Online romance and investment are never a good mix.
  • Steer clear of high-pressure sales tactics or time-sensitive opportunities.
  • Always research the legitimacy of apps and websites.

While the FBI was unable to confirm their involvement in the investigation, Portland Police issued a statement to KPTV.

“This case is showing victims in multiple states and that the suspect location is unknown,” they said.

Corey, who is in his 60s, doesn’t think he will ever see his money again and is considering draining his 401k to pay the debt.

“I see everything I’ve gone through and I just want to get it out there to the public so people will be aware to not get involved in this,” he said.

“This will totally upset their life and turn everything upside down.”

FBI agent Kieran Ramsey warned against investing in cryptocurrency trade exchanges with strangers online

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FBI agent Kieran Ramsey warned against investing in cryptocurrency trade exchanges with strangers onlineCredit: FOX 12

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