Crypto scammers forced the singer to film a hostage-style video before taking her money

Cryptocurrency scammers forced an Australian singer to record a hostage-style video, before stealing her money.

Emma Tomlinson, from Brisbane, said she ended up having a “really big breakdown” following the scam, which started when someone posing as a friend on Instagram asked her to register for a giveaway.

Emma said she lost thousands. Credit: A Current Affair

“All of a sudden she asked for my Instagram details and I innocently gave my email, then all of a sudden my Instagram got hacked and I was completely locked out and couldn’t come back” , the 22-year-old said. A topical matter.

“I went into a state of shock. I couldn’t believe this had happened.”

She was then told that she would get her account back once she filmed herself endorsing a bitcoin investment scam – which she duly did.

In the video, she said: “Hi everyone, I just invested in bitcoin mining and received a profit in three hours… the business is legit and really worth it and the person with who I work for is real.”

The hackers then shared the video with her followers, aiming to scam them – and that was far from the end of the line for Emma too.

“They said you had to pay $200 and they made me download an app,” she said.

She claims she was forced to film a hostage-style video to chain the others into the scam.  Credit: A Current Affair
She claims she was forced to film a hostage-style video to chain the others into the scam. Credit: A Current Affair

“Now the app they made me download is called trust. They then made sure I sent screenshots of my movements on that app and how I paid them $200. “

In total, Emma said the hackers got A$3,000 (£1,736) after setting up a website where they threatened to sell fake explicit images of her.

“It said, ‘for all new signups, free shower videos for a month,'” Emma said.

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Emma said she got nothing with Instagram’s help account and her calls went unanswered. Now she’s asking the company to do better.

She said: “I had a really big breakdown. Yeah, maybe it’s a social media account, but when it’s part of your business and you’ve worked eight years hard on it, building your audience, that was it for me.

The crooks extorted Emma.  Credit: A Current Affair
The crooks extorted Emma. Credit: A Current Affair

“Up your game, because it’s very scary and ruins someone’s life.”

A spokesperson for Meta – Instagram’s parent company – detailed the range of security measures in place to help users.

They said A topical matter“We use a combination of technology, human review and user reports to find and remove infringing content, including scams, and we encourage people to report suspicious content when they see it. We provide our community with robust built-in tools to report any content they believe violates our guidelines.

“Account security is our community’s first line of defense. We encourage our community to choose strong and unique passwords, never share them with anyone, and enable two-factor authentication in their settings to protect their account.

“Additionally, we recently launched a Worldwide Security Check, a feature that guides people whose accounts may have been hacked, through the steps necessary to secure them. This includes verifying the activity login, reviewing profile information, confirming accounts that share login information, and updating account recovery contact information such as phone number or email address.”

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