Naum Lantsman lost his life savings after falling victim to an investment scam.
He invested $340,000 (around £2680.000) into what he thought was his cryptocurrency investment account over several months.
Mr Lantsman explained to NPR.org that turning to supposed cryptocurrency investments after the pandemic upended his life.
He runs a business selling equipment and supplies to restaurants in the Los Angeles area.
But many of them shut their doors when lockdown orders went into effect.
Not only were his businesses struggling, but when he looked at his retirement savings, they had also taken a hit in the stock market.
So, he turned to a type of investment he had seen on social media that showed promising returns.
After Lantsman opened an account, a company representative reached out and built a rapport with him.
They began chatting regularly, swapping details about vacations and families and commiserating about their shared background in the former Soviet Union.
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He initially transferred $500 (around £390) into his account which nearly doubled in a matter of weeks.
Daniel Lantsman, Naum’s son said: “He saw a very compelling fake platform that looked like money was being deposited, and that money was growing.”
Mr Lantsman was encouraged to transfer more over several months and ended up investing his entire life savings worth $340,000 (around £268,000).
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When he attempted to withdraw money from his account, the company sent over a forged document from Barclays, stating the company need two percent of the amount he was requesting as a “security measure.”
By this point, Lantsman was entrapped by the scam. When his son and daughter found out, it was too late. The money was gone.
Naum’s daughter, Lina O’Connor said: “Obviously there’s like a shame component to this and coming to reality and grips with, ‘Hey, I lost 100 percent of my family’s liquidity’.”
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