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Devastated bride-to-be mum, 45, ‘hit rock bottom’ after crypto currency scammers swindled her out of £29,000

A BRIDE-TO-BE mum wept and “hit the bottom” after being conned out of almost £30,000 by crypto currency scammers.

Melissa Martin, 45, was left heartbroken after she was swindled by fraudsters claiming to be BitCoin investors, who then fled with her money.

The mum-of-one had used her credit cards to invest in the online currency just before March’s lockdown.

But she was hoodwinked into transferring the Bitcoins to the heartless scammers, leaving her saddled with thousands of pounds of debt.

Melissa, from Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, told Sun Online: “I feel really upset, the fact that someone can do that to you.

“You think people are so genuine and they are not.

“It’s just building my life again, really. It’s like Tetris you are pressing all the blocks and there are no blocks left to press and all of a sudden it’s going to all come falling down.

“That’s how it felt, it all just came falling down.”

The cold-hearted sting started when she was called by a woman calling herself Nicole Stephens claiming to be from a firm called Coinipro.com.

Melissa was then convinced to hand over Bitcoins worth around £23,500 to an account manager calling himself Henry Adams.

But after checking in on her every few days he texted Melissa on August 3 to say he had had a car crash then stopped answering her messages.

After becoming suspicious, Melissa emailed asking to withdraw her money.

I had tried to make a better future for us and could have destroyed it.

She realised she had been conned after she viewed the exchange platform and could no longer see the money in her account.

To add to her agony, she had just been made redundant from her job as a car sales executive for Mercedes.

Melissa told Sun Online: “I am at a crossroads now. I have to get a job. I have to pay back the debt that I have accumulated.

“He just gained my trust. I kept saying to him, “Is this a scam?”

“He kept reassuring me it wasn’t, but it turned out it was.”

A final balance of around £28,900 ($38,000) was on her Coinipro exchange platform when she realised she had been ripped off.

Melissa, who had a baby boy last year, sobbed when she told her fiancé about being swindled after her dreams of improving their lives were shattered by the callous con artists.

She said: “It was completely [devastating]. You hit the bottom, don’t you. That day was the bottom.

“I felt I had let him down, I had let myself down.

“I had tried to make a better future for us and could have destroyed it.

“I think there are a lot of people out there that do the same and these people need to be caught.

“The fact he has done it to me, I want him to know he has picked on the wrong person, I will go to the rainbow to get the company.”

Action Fraud confirmed City of London Police were assessing Melissa’s case and had received other reports about the same firm.

Sun Online was unable to get through after calling two phone numbers Melissa used to contact Coinipro.

Other furious victims have blasted the company on the online platform Trustpilot.

It comes after cyber experts and UK fraud police warned The Sun about fake celeb endorsements for Bitcoin schemes – which could see Brits losing huge sums of money.

Melissa said: “It has obviously put a strain on us. There are times when you think about what you have done to the family.

“My intention was only to make things right. I’ve only tried to make a better life for us as a family.

“You can understand how people can become suicidal when something like that happens to you. It takes a big toll on your self esteem.

“It makes you feel like you have been a fool.”

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether are not regulated in the UK.

A spokesman for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it had recently received an increasing number of reports about cryptcurrency ​​​​​​investment scams.

An Action Fraud spokesman said: “It’s vital for anyone who is thinking of investing in cryptocurrencies to research the individual or company they’re investing with thoroughly.

“Criminals will use a variety of ways to advertise lucrative investment opportunities, including approaching you via email or on social media.

“You should never respond to unsolicited offers from someone you don’t know, promising large returns for a small up-front payment.

“When investing any amount of money, make sure you aren’t being rushed or pressured into making a decision and investing quickly. “

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