The Catfish of Not-Prosperity (Part 2)
Find out how I abandoned all logic and intuition, and peer-pressured myself into getting involved in this stupid scam
Continuing on what I wrote about last week… when my friend met a definitely-too-perfect-and-hot German man on Hinge, who, after a few days of messaging, started helping her make crypto on coinbase. If you’re a free subscriber you can read the first installment here, I took it out from behind the paywall, but this second one and the final one will be paywalled!
Next week I will be releasing either the 3rd and final part of this story. Or releasing my free podcast episode with Irene Lyons, trauma expert/educator (very excited, it’s a great conversation). Or, both. Stay tuned for those in the following week or two.
Here we go.
So, when my friend Kara read the comments on the piece I wrote about her crypto trading, she panicked, and figured out how to withdraw money from the account where her money was up at $12K. She only withdrew $100. But it worked. It hit her coinbase (from coinbase wallet) and then it hit her bank a day later. The money was real. And she was able to withdraw it.
Once that happened, I started thinking that maybe she really WAS making money on coinbase. Maybe this really WASN’T a scam. Maybe this guy was a catfish… because it just didn’t seem logical to me that this instagram model-esque guy, with posed pictures walking by the eiffel tower, who kept evading talking on the phone, was REALLY who he said he was… BUT, he seemed to be making her money. So… maybe the money was… real. But maybe he was just …using money to make her fall in love with him. Or maybe he was like… a sugar-daddy-of-crypto, who got off on helping her make money. I didn’t know, but she was able to withdraw money.
Over the next few nights, she said the money in the account went up from 12K, to 18K, to 31K, to something like 36K. It was becoming exponential, because the more you had in there, the more you could risk betting on the crypto, and the higher the return. And she never, ever was given a bad bet. He would tell her exactly what to trade, and exactly when (it mattered by the minute). And she tried to move even more money into her bank account: $1,500. And it also worked. Wow. This seemed…. legit. How?!
At this point, she had put in $2K, and taken out something like $1,600K, and had $30K + left in her coinbase wallet.
I honestly couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking… this is just so… strange. Like could this ACTUALLY be for real? How?
She kept telling me that if I was willing to stay up late, she would tell me to make the same trades he was telling her to make, (at the exact same moment), so I could make money too. And… I just wasn’t willing to. And, I judged myself for it. Like… am I really that lazy? Am I really this unwilling to sacrifice my sleep to make money? But I just wasn’t. Plus I wasn’t really sure how long this was going to go on for anyway. She seemed to be making real money that she was able to transfer back to her bank, yes, but I didn’t trust that he was really the hot German he said he was so… when would the jig be up?
Enter, my other friend, Matt, who read the first post about all of this last week. He is one of my best friends. He is not friends with Kara, but he knows about her through me, and he texted me and said, “BITCH. This Kara story. She is making SO much money. We have to do this too.”
I said, “Bitch, but I do not want to stay up late. I really don’t.” (This “Bitch” thing started as a joke a few months ago, where we start and end nearly every sentence that we say to each other with “Bitch” - and I didn’t think it would stick so long but… it surrrrre stuck.)
And he said, “Bitch I don’t want to stay up late either, but I’d do it for a few weeks to make $12K! And we will be smart. We won’t get caught up in the gambling. We will cash out as soon as it hits 15K, and then start again.”
I thought… ughhhhh. I still really do not want to! Buttttt… maybe I can give Matt my login, and he can just do the bets for both of us…. win win win win. If he is THIS willing to stay up late to make money, and I’m his connection to the person who can help him make the money… maybe he will do this for me.
I told him: “Well… I really do not want to stay up late to do this. But maybe I can give you my login so you can do it for me. HA.”
He did not affirm or deny this idea, but I told Kara that my friend Matt wanted to stay up late to do it, and maybe he would actually do the late night buys/trades/bets for me too… (I am not knowing what to call it. I keep wanting to say trades but really… they are bets.) And Kara said, “Ok! Yea if you guys stay up, I can just tell you what he tells me to do!”
So, I started a group iMessage between us all called “The Richest Bitches” - and Kara and Matt e-introduced themselves, and Kara started telling us if we wanted to do it, the first step was to download coinbase and coinbase wallet, and make accounts for both. I already HAD a coinbase with… $350 dollars invested in it. I randomly invested that small amount ($350) in some crypto a few months ago and had no idea what I was doing, but I figured some crypto was better than none, but then I gave up because I realized that I was really making random investments. But what I DID know, was that the coinbase app was legit. Many many people use it. And many had recommended it to me as a good way to start getting into crypto. So, that was one of the reasons Matt and I were trusting this whole thing … coinbase is legit, and, so far, she had been able to transfer more than $1500 of her money out.
I set up my coinbase wallet and thought, well, I’ll just do the easy parts. Maybe I won’t actually go through with it. Then I realized that the two-factor authentification alone would make it impossible for Matt to log into my account and do these bets for me. So I thought… this isn’t going to work. Because I’m not going to be staying up late doing this. I just know I’m not.
So I told him: “I might not do this actually, I want to sleep.” And he said, “Ugh! I want to sleep too! But I think we can do this for just even a week!”
I said, “Well, what if… we pooled our money together in YOUR account and you did the trades for us.” Then we worried about how that would work with taxes. Then we considered doing it up until $30K, because you can GIFT anyone up to $15K tax-free. THEN he bargained with me and said, ‘well, what if we took turns staying up late to do this every other night.’ And I said, ‘yea but then what happens if one of us doesn’t one night, don’t you think this is a recipe for friendship disaster?’ He agreed. We settled on having our own accounts. I said, “…honestly, I still might not do this.”
And he said, “Omg, you’re abandoning me! I don’t even know Kara. This is hilarious.”
Now, this is where I make it very clear, that Matt did NOT pressure me to do this. But, I did feel bad “abandoning” him. I didn’t want him to be let down, all because I wanted to sleep. I was pretty much just… judging myself for wanting to sleep over making money with my friends. And this was my big fatal flaw. Because my instincts were correct. This was not worth it. In fact… it was more than not worth it.