Attention: Read The Real Story Of Another Fund Recovery Scam!

EFRI principal Elfriede Sixt interview on cybercrime and dark web
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The following fraud fund recovery story was filed with the U.S. FBI, which we have on file. In the bustling city of Sofia, Bulgaria, Elena I., a diligent and hopeful investor, was about to be ensnared in a web of deceit. It was a warm July morning in 2023 when her phone rang. The voice on the other end introduced himself as David Varga, a Cypriot citizen claiming to be an employee of the Cypriot regulator, CySEC. Here is the story:

Good news, Elena,David Varga began, his voice dripping with charm. “Your BGN 500 investment in Tradingteck from December 2020 has now grown to a whopping 15,000 USD! However, there are some fees you need to cover to access your funds.” Elena’s heart raced. She has lost her money with the broker scam Tradingteck, one of the many scam brands in the FX Leader Case that has since been brought to trial in Germany. Could this be a way to recover her investment? David was persuasive, calling her multiple times a day and guiding her through transactions via the AnyDesk application.

In the email communication, David Varga, a/k/a Alexandr Shevchenko, also used the fake CySEC email address ,.

Under David’s guidance, Elena made several transfers to the crypto exchange Binance via Lendix Ltd. Every time she thought she was close to accessing her funds, a new fee would pop up – dividend fee, insurance fee, withdrawal fee, and more. David’s urgency grew, and Elena, desperate to see a return on her investment, borrowed money to cover the mounting fees.

Then, a twist. David informed Elena that her funds were transferred to OCBC Bank Singapore, a bank flagged for suspicious activities. The money was then moved to Coinbase, a crypto trading platform. But something was amiss. While Elena could see 39,971 USDT in her Coinbase wallet, she couldn’t access it. An attempt to transfer the funds revealed they were fake, duplicated ERC-20 tokens.

Panicking, Elena reported the scam to the Bulgarian police. She even filed a complaint with the FBI, attaching all evidence of her correspondence with David and his assistant, Alexandra Shevchenko. But David wasn’t done. He called Elena with another demand: BGN 3,000 to release her funds from Coinbase. “If you go to the authorities, I’ll freeze your account,” he threatened.

Elena was trapped in a maze of deception, with threats looming and her life savings at stake. Desperate for help, Elena reached out to an investigative journalist, sharing her story and all the evidence she had gathered. She hoped that by bringing her story to light, she could warn others and perhaps find a way to reclaim her lost funds.

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If you have any information about this case involving David Varga (we think this may also be a fake name), please let us know through our whistleblower system, Whistle42.

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