Plano veteran loses $220,000 in crypto scam – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
A North Texas veteran says he was scammed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a cryptocurrency scam.
James Kachel, of Plano, is an Army veteran who served in the Gulf War.
He has spent the past 16 years working for the United States Postal Service. When he left last year, he said he started considering investing in cryptocurrency to make some extra cash.
“Amazingly, just when I was thinking of doing it, here’s the message,” Kachel explained.
The “message” on WhatsApp was from someone who said his name was “Katherina” and offered to help and teach Kachel how to invest in cryptocurrency.
It all started, he said, with a small transaction in July 2021 through what he thought was a crypto-trading site.
As his confidence in “Katherina” grew, so did the investments.
After about six months, more than 100 pages of posts and dozens of transactions later, he said he tried to withdraw money from the $4 million he had won.
“They were like, ‘Oh, you have to do this first because you got flagged,'” Kachel recalled.
Kachel said he spent weeks doing the rounds, realizing the whole thing was a scam and that the app he thought was a trading site was actually a clone of a real crypto market.
“It was heartbreaking,” Kachel said.
His biggest regret, he said, is using the money that was supposed to pay for his mother’s assisted living.
In total, Kachel said he was scammed for at least $220,000.
“It’s a giant bet,” Magnus Carter said of investing in crypto.
Carter is a crypto enthusiast who just wrote a beginner’s book.
He said cyber crooks go to great lengths to get what they want and often get away with it.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty with that. There are no federal guidelines. There are no laws that can actually stop people from doing things and no regulations to follow,” Carter said. .
Kachel said he filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
His profile on the cloned app is also gone, along with any hope he’ll ever see his money again.
“Emotionally it drains me because I did it,” he said.
Kachel said he was sharing his story so others wouldn’t be victimized either.
Click here to find out what consumers need to know about cryptocurrency and how to avoid scams.