A retired account manager provided the QR code to a bitcoin wallet that took in what is thought to be one of the highest number of transactions and money into a single bitcoin wallet in recent memory.
Orlando Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Caroline O’Brien-Buster said it appears the 7,883 transactions took place between Feb. and May 2021.
O’Brien-Buster said she was able to confirm more than $118 million in cryptocurrency went into the bitcoin wallet with $117 million going out.
“I actually had to look at it twice it was such a large number,” O’Brien-Buster said. “It is one of the largest I’ve seen.”
Mary Miller a retired accounting manager is one of the women who transferred funds into that bitcoin wallet. Miller said she purchased $10,000 in cryptocurrency and transferred it to a bitcoin wallet using a QR code her online lover sent to her.
Miller said she made the purchase through a bitcoin ATM in Winter Park. She said an oil rig supervisor she met on a Facebook dating site walked her through the deposit process during an early morning in March.
Miller said she was standing in front of the ATM at 7 a.m. slipping $10,000 in cash into the machine bill by bill.
“I was terrified,” she said. ”I’m ashamed and embarrassed I used to be an accounting manager. I used to be sharp.”
Miller’s social media romance cost her roughly $13,000 in Google money cards and cash.
The conman used photos of a man who turned out to be a Louisiana oil rig worker. There is no evidence to suggest he is connected to this romance scheme.
“I was so in love,” Miller said, ”I realize now he said everything that he thought a woman wants to hear.”
Federal agents said the words are usually scripted and involve a team of men and women working together. Miller said the last time she had contact with the man was the first week in May.
Last week, she started texting him again and he immediately wanted to have conversations with her.
Investigators said these conmen can run hundreds of romance schemes simultaneously as evidenced by the more than 7,800 transactions uncovered in the bitcoin wallet.
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If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-372-8311.