Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise, with victims often being tricked out of thousands of dollars.
This is backed up by recent data from the FTC, which shows that since October 2020, consumers have reported losing more than $80 million to cryptocurrency scams. This represents an increase of more than ten-fold year-on-year.
In one such case, a 77-year-old woman lost more than $12,000 after being lured into a bitcoin scam, Chicago Tribune reported. The incident occurred after the Indiana-based woman received an email alert last month claiming to warn her of fraudulent activity on her PayPal account.
She was advised to buy $3,500 in bitcoin on the cryptocurrency trading platform, Coinbase, and was later instructed to share her bank information, the outlet reported. This led to six withdrawals totaling $8,800 and the scammer eventually stealing over $12,000 from her.
The incident forms part of a recent surge in cryptocurrency-related scams or accusations of wrongdoing.
On Thursday, members of esports organization FaZe Clan were suspended following allegations that their Save the Children cryptocurrency may have been a scam, per Insider’s Steven Asarch.
Kotatku reported that tons of fans “pumped money into this scheme, believing their investment was protected by the high profile of those endorsing it, only to see their money disappear almost overnight.”
“FaZe Clan had absolutely no involvement with our members’ activity in the cryptocurrency space and we strongly condemn their recent behavior,” a statement posted on Twitter by FaZe Clan said.
In another incident, an online dating user became embroiled in a cryptocurrency scam that lost him £20,000 in May, The Guardian reported on Saturday. The user, who was given the pseudonym James Evans by the outlet, said he had felt like he built a “genuine connection” with a man on Grindr but soon became aware he was manipulated into a scam.
Crypto scammers often go to great lengths to lure their victims. In the Indiana case, Chicago Tribune reported that the woman received an email that stated almost $500 had been drawn out of her account and that she would need to call a specific number to rectify the issue.
Once she was on the line, a man convinced her to invest in the currency. He offered to walk the woman through the complicated purchase by accessing her phone via a screen-sharing facility.
Upon instruction, she shared her bank information and even provided the scammer with a state photo ID of herself.
“It does seem that at a certain age, too many people can be susceptible to these type of scams,” Chesterton Police Sergeant Dave Virijevich told the Chicago Tribune. “These types of criminals prey on the genuine goodness of people. They’re preying on their trusting nature,” he added.
Eventually, her bank helped the woman retrieve a small fraction -$2,000 – of the money she had lost.
Looking for a career move that can boost cash flow? These professions and positions help add the good kind of zeros to your salary. Read these articles to help you combine a career you love with a paycheck you want – and for advice on how to get there.
Fashion designer Giorgio Armani’s fortune is about $8.1 billion.
Armani began his career in the military after leaving medical school. In the ’70s, he started designing menswear clothing, but his career really took off when he started designing for Richard Gere in 1980. Since then, Armani’s brand has expanded into an empire, which includes accessories, interior design, and hotels.
PayPal’s co-founder Peter Thiel is worth $5 billion, according to Forbes.
In 1999, Thiel co-founded PayPal, which was meant to be a simple way to exchange money via devices. He was CEO of the company up until eBay acquired PayPal, and his stake in the company was said to be worth $55 million. Thiel was also an early investor of Facebook, and he founded a data analytics company, Palantir, which is valued at $20 billion, according to Forbes.
Jon Stryker is an heir to a medical equipment company. Forbes reports his net worth at $4.3 billion.
Stryker’s grandfather founded Stryker Corp., which is a medical supply company that sold $14.9 billion in equipment in 2019, according to Forbes. One of the heirs to the family fortune, Stryker is a philanthropist, donating large sums of his money to charities and scholarships. So far, he has given away $585 million.
Stryker also founded the Arcus Foundation, which fights for LGBTQ rights and ape conservation.
Norwegian businessman Stein Erik Hagen is worth $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.
Hagen founded the supermarket chain Rimi with his father in the 1970s and is a major shareholder of the consumer goods conglomerate Orkla. He was Norway’s seventh wealthiest person in 2020, according to Norwegian business magazine Kapital.
Hagen, who is bisexual, publicly came out on one of Norway’s biggest chat shows, Skavaln, in 2015, saying he only came to understand his sexuality “well into adulthood,” The Local reported.
Jennifer Pritzker, a hotel heiress, is the only openly transgender billionaire in the world.
She came out as transgender in 2013 without much fanfare, but she made headlines in 2017 when President Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military. Before this, Pritzker supported Trump and donated large sums to his campaign, but the ban prompted her to support Biden in his bid for the presidency.
Fashion designer Domenico Dolce is worth $1.6 billion.
After meeting in a club, Dolce and Stefano Gabbana started a fashion brand together in 1985. The company’s signature animal print made waves at fashion events and even caught the attention of Madonna, solidifying Dolce & Gabbana’s place in fashion history.
His business partner Stefano Gabbana is also worth $1.6 billion.
Dolce and Gabbana ended their personal relationship in 2003 but still own the company and design together.
In 2020, Apple CEO Tim Cook officially became a billionaire.
Cook became CEO of Apple in 2011 after the death of its founder, Steve Jobs. A decade later, the company is nearing a market value of nearly $2 trillion, making Cook a billionaire.
He is now worth $1.3 billion, according to Forbes. Despite his billionaire status, he lives in a relatively modest home in Palo Alto.
Fashion designer Michael Kors used to be worth $1 billion, but today, his fortune is estimated to be $600 million.
Kors began his fashion design company in his mother’s basement in the ’80s and turned it into an empire. In 2011, he took the company public when it was valued at $3.5 billion. In 2004, he became a superstar when he became a judge on “Project Runway.” Ten years later, Kors became a billionaire.
Today, his fortune is a bit smaller, but he calls downtown New York City home with his husband, Lance Le Pere.
Elton John has been in the music industry for decades, earning a fortune that’s reportedly near $500 million.
John began his music career in England and became known for his flamboyant and outrageous costumes. Quickly, he became a cultural phenomenon, launching his decade-spanning career. He still tours today and has sold over 300 million records, according to The Times.
Wealth no longer means what it used to for high-net-worth millennials.
The pandemic has caused the wealthy to alter their lifestyles and reassess their priorities, changing how they perceive wealth in the process, a new report by Boston Private found. The report, titled the Why of Wealth, surveyed high net-worth individuals with at least $1 million of assets.
Millennials, who turn ages 25 to 40 this year, changed their perceptions of wealth the most. More than three-quarters (89%) said the pandemic altered the way they define wealth. The generation was also most likely to say the pandemic shifted their wealth priorities and their emotions about wealth, with 85% of respondents feeling this way about each change.
Both Gen X and Gen Z felt fairly similarly, with at least three-quarters of each cohort identifying in the same way for nearly all these sentiments. However, it’s a sharp contrast from baby boomers and the silent generation. Less than a quarter (24%) of both generations combined said the pandemic changed their perception of wealth. The report attributes this to their age, as they’ve already experienced significant cultural milestones and being more settled into a certain mindset.
More millennials (as well as Gen X) associate wealth with success and happiness, whereas boomers and the silent generation are more likely to view wealth as peace of mind and independence. “For these younger generations, wealth is a key contributor to creating a comfortable, happy life, and is directly related to achieving important goals, having a good family life and being a positive contributor to community and society,” the report reads.
Older generations feel less able to use their wealth on enjoying life as much as they’d like to right now, according to the report, whereas younger generations are possibly using their wealth to enjoy life more than they feel they should.
What’s more is that this shift in perception of wealth has also affected millennials’ wealth goals – 78% said the pandemic changed how they planned to use their wealth in the future, compared to 26% of baby boomers and the silent generation.
Bill Gates has transferred $850 million more in shares to Melinda French Gates amid the couple’s divorce, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The Microsoft co-founder transferred 2.25 million shares of equipment manufacturer Deere, brand name John Deere, to French Gates through his investment firm, Cascade Investment LLC, on Thursday, according to a securities filing seen by the Journal.
The reported Deere transfer equates to around 7% of Gates’s stake in the company.
Gates and Cascade Investment still owned nearly 29.3 million shares – 9.3% of the company – after the $850 million transfer to French Gates, the security filings said, per the Journal.
Cascade Investment didn’t immediately reply to Insider’s request for comment. The holding company also declined to comment beyond the filings to the Journal.
Insider reported on May 7 that three stocks worth a combined $3 billion were transferred to French Gates after the couple’s divorce announcement. These stocks included 2.9 million shares of automotive retailer AutoNation, 14.1 million shares of Canadian National Railway, and 293.5 million shares of media company Grupo Televisa.
Other stocks that French Gates could receive from Cascade Investment include Republic Services and Ecolab, which are heavily owned positions at the holding company.
Michael Larson has managed Bill Gates’s fortune, which is worth nearly $130 billion, for decades.
Larson runs Gates’s secretive investment company, Cascade Investment, and manages Gates’s personal wealth as well as that of his charitable foundation. He was hired by Gates almost 30 years ago, when the Microsoft cofounder’s net worth was closer to $5 billion.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Larson became a point of contention between Gates and his wife, Melinda French Gates, after he was accused of sexual harassment in 2017.
The Times reported that a lawyer sent the Gateses a letter alleging Larson had been sexually harassing a woman who managed a bike shop. The shop was partially owned by Rally Capital, a firm that Cascade had invested in.
The letter requested help from the Gateses in addressing the situation with Larson and threatened legal action if they didn’t. Sources told The Times the woman reached a settlement in 2018 that included payment and a nondisclosure agreement.
French Gates hired a law firm to investigate the woman’s claims and the culture at Cascade, a time during which Larson was placed on leave. The outcome of the investigation was not clear, but Larson kept his job.
Larson could not be reached by Insider and did not respond to The Times.
In February of that year, Gates held a celebration at his mansion near Seattle in honor of Larson, who at that point had been working for Gates for 20 years.
“Melinda and I are free to pursue our vision of a healthier and better-educated world because of what Michael has done,” Gates said, according to The Journal.
He told the guests, who were asked to wear platinum or pink, Larson’s favorite color, that Larson had his “complete trust and faith.”
Larson, 61, has worked for Gates through Cascade since 1994. He is the chief investment officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gates’s personal investment portfolio.
He grew up in North Dakota and Albuquerque, and received an MBA from the University of Chicago, Fortune Magazine reported in 1999.
Gates’s assets and Larson’s investment strategy have largely been kept under wraps, but sources told The Journal Cascade produced consistent gains for Gates, with a compound annual return of 11% from 1995 to 2014.
Sources also told The Journal Gates and Larson mostly had a professional relationship and that they rarely interacted socially.
Every parent hopes they have a genius on their hands, let’s be honest! But what if you could encourage your child’s brilliant mind to get them started early in life with an entrepreneurial attitude? That’s exactly what the folks at www.teiyu.co.uk offer. Teiyu use a storytelling approach to build an entrepreneurial mindset in children…and you can find out more below.
Because they believe, as we do, that it’s possible to help nourish kids in developing an overall leadership attitude and skillset.
At school, we hardly get any financial education at all. Sure, we’re taught maths – but there’s no real insight into how percentages (interest rates) and sums (budgeting) really impact our lives outside of the classroom.
Teaching your children about money early in their development doesn’t mean giving them lectures, either! You could start by demonstrating the importance of saving, by giving pocket money each week. For older children, what about showing them how bills work – raise their pocket money allowance, but take some back to pay ‘bills’ (you can sneak it into a savings account for them, if you like!).
Another way to encourage children to think about money is to include them in financial activities. When you go grocery shopping, for example, take a calculator. Tell them your total budget and ask them to monitor whether you’re sticking to it. Or, if you go to a restaurant, give them a budget to spend on their meal and see what they can get with it from the menu.
When they understand how money makes the world go round, it’s much easier to encourage them to consider how they want to make their own money. You can, for example, exchange a few pounds for chores they complete around the house. For older children, encourage them to take on a part-time job – that could be making and selling crafts, taking on a paper round (they still exist!), or helping older neighbours with their shopping or gardening.
Encourage a Leadership Attitude
When your child understands how money works, it’s a good time to start encouraging their entrepreneurial mindset. This starts with a leadership attitude!
Teiyu is a great resource for children who want to get ahead. It’s a storytelling strategy about a lizard called Teiyu, who helps children solve problems in the land of Teguria. It’s a positive, encouraging experience that helps children embrace problem-solving strategies on their own.
Other ways to encourage a leadership attitude is to volunteer with community groups, or attend other groups such as Scouts or an after-school sports team. This helps develop important skills like communication, teamwork, and delegation – as well as helping your child identify their own strengths along the way.
Inspire Creative Thinking
Another key attribute to help your kid make millions in the future is to encourage creativity. Abstract problem-solving is a perfect way to help your child identify unique ways to reach a solution. You can do this through techniques such as the Teiyu stories, as well as showing them real-world problems that need a solution.
For example, let’s say you have an arts and crafts afternoon ahead of you. Let your children build a castle from a shoebox and cardboard – but tell them it has to do certain things! Does the drawbridge go up and down? Is there a secret entrance? Things like this will help your child take instruction but think creatively to reach the solution.
Creative thinking when it comes to money is another step towards an entrepreneurial mindset. For older children, you could ask what they want to buy with their pocket money. You can work out with them how long it will take to save up for it – and get them to find ways they could make more money to save faster. This might be, for example, selling some of their old clothes and toys that they’ve grown out of at a car boot sale. When they see how much faster they can get the thing they want to buy, if they make money as well as save it, you’re encouraging creative thoughts around money from a young age.
Help Your Child Develop Excellence
Being brilliant at something is the most notable attribute of all entrepreneurs. For some, it might be technological savvy. For others, they could be great with social skills. Help your child find their passion – and the skills they’re great at – and nurture them.
This will help them to develop excellence in these habits, skills, or hobbies over time. As they become confident in these areas, it’s easier for them to identify their strengths and how they might be able to use them to make money through an entrepreneurial mindset. One great example of this is the 12-year-old investor we spoke to on the MoneyMagpie podcast! He realised very quickly that understanding the stock market was a great skill, and he nurtured it, and is already a leading example to other children about how to invest wealth!
The six richest Americans are worth more than the GDP of 13 states combined, including Delaware, Maine, and Vermont, according to data from Forbes and the US Department of Commerce.
The publication’s rich list contains six “centibillionaires” – people worth at least $100 billion each.
In a new report, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) said this meant that individually, each of the centibillionaires had a net worth bigger than the GDP of each of the 13 poorest US states.
But calculations by Insider show that, collectively, these six centibillionaires have a collective fortune bigger than that of the 13 states combined.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, and Oracle founder and chairman Larry Ellison have a combined fortune of around $815 billion, per Forbes data from April 12.
This is just over the combined GDP of the 13 poorest US states, according to 2020 data from the US Department of Commerce: Hawaii, New Hampshire, Idaho, Delaware, West Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island, North and South Dakota, Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, and Vermont.
Bezos is worth nearly $200 billion – just over the 2020 GDP of Utah.
Vermont has the lowest GDP of all the US states, at $32.8 billion in 2020, followed by Wyoming and Alaska, though this is largely due to their small populations.
The ATF and IPS also found that over the last 13 months, American billionaires increased their wealth by 55%, Insider’s Juliana Kaplan reported. In the second half of 2020, meanwhile, 8 million Americans fell into poverty, according to a study by the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago.
“We’re going to come out of the pandemic another degree of more unequal,” Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality at IPS, told Kaplan.
Oxfam suggested wealth taxes could be a good option to reverse this. In December, academics published a study of 50 years of tax cuts for the wealthy that suggested “trickle-down” economics made inequality worse and didn’t lead to economic growth and employment.
Argentina became the first country to respond to the pandemic with a one-off “millionaire tax” approved by its Congress in December, which the government hopes will raise $3.78 billion to help pay for its pandemic response.
The US has also ramped up efforts to tax its highest earners.
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, has proposed raising the corporate tax to 28% as a way to fund his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. The package, which Biden hopes will overhaul the US economy, includes investments in transportation, water, broadband, power, housing, and education.
The People’s Republic of China (PBOC) introduced its first blockchain-powered digital currency controlled by its central bank, The Wall Street Journal first reported. The project took seven years to complete since work began in 2014.
The e-yuan is a government-sponsored virtual currency designed to trace all movements of money. For example, the state will know full details about what someone purchased and where, FXStreet reported.
It is money that isn’t associated with the global financial system, where the US dollar has dominated since World War II. Its main aim is to gain more centralized control and replace some of the cash and coins in circulation, CNBC reported. It is also a faster and cheaper way to make domestic and international transactions.
Up to 750,000 people have been chosen by a lottery system, allowing them to spend their digital yuan in both offline and online stores using an app, per the Journal. Food and drink giants including Starbucks and McDonald’s reportedly moved quickly to accept the new currency.
China is the second country and first major economy to roll out a digital currency. The first country was the Bahamas Central Bank, according to Bloomberg.
Distribution of the digital yuan will involve a two-tiered system. It will be dispensed to commercial banks who will then be responsible for getting the currency into consumers’ hands, CNBC reports.
PBOC also suggested the two-tier structure can “avert disintermediation in the financial sector” because the central bank will not be in competition with the commercial banks, per CNBC.
The virtual currency is held in cyberspace. It is available on a card, or an individuals’ mobile phone screen with a picture of Mao Zedong, mirroring the paper money. Spending doesn’t require an internet connection.
Support for the digital yuan is not unanimous as some think it could potentially threaten the future of the US dollar, MarketWatch suggested.
John Lipsky, a former International Monetary Fund staffer, told The Wall Street Journal: “Anything that threatens the dollar is a national-security issue. This threatens the dollar over the long term,” in a feature that described the virtual yuan as “a re-imagination of money that could shake a pillar of American power.”
Does this mean there is a digital dollar on the way?
Jerome Powell, the federal reserve chairman, thinks so, telling Congress that it is looking carefully at issuing one. It is now a “high-priority project for us,” he said.