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Users of a cryptocurrency app fear they have lost thousands of pounds after they were unable to make withdrawals from the site, the BBC has been told.
Coscoin, also known as Cos or Cosetek, describes itself as “a leading AI quantitative trading platform” where people can double their investments.
Nik Pearce, from Hartlepool, was left “angry” after family and friends signed up and then went on to lose £3,000.
Coscoin has not responded to the BBC when asked for a comment.
App users say they have been unable to access funds since 23 November.
‘Too good to be true’
In order to place money into the Coscoin app they had to send funds to it via a third-party app called Kraken, which is a cryptocurrency exchange. Kraken is not accused of any wrongdoing.
When the money was then deposited to Coscoin, users were notified as to when they “should hit a button”, which Coscoin said was “quantifying their investment”, and could increase it.
Users across the UK have reported that they have lost their investments.
A number of workers at the Nissan plant in Washington, near Sunderland, are among those who have lost money, BBC Radio Newcastle understands.
A spokesperson for the car maker said it was aware that “some staff may have been affected”.
Mr Pearce, who lost £500 himself, initially thought the app “seemed too good to be true” but, as he knew people who were making money through it, he decided to test whether it worked.
He was able to withdraw his investment so he decided to invest more of his money.
“I thought it was legit because I could withdraw my money and it did increase my initial investment,” he said.
“When I initially saw I could withdraw I told my family and friends and they signed up.”
Users said they encountered problems with their withdrawals after Coscoin ran a “Thanksgiving special”.
People were able to increase their investments if they pushed a button on the app.
Mr Pearce said he felt “frustrated and angry” after getting others involved. He said he had been unable to contact the site’s admin.
“With Christmas around the corner I feel responsible for losing people’s money,” he said.
“I just want to warn others not to fall for these schemes.”
‘I want my money back’
It is thought the app’s popularity has spread through WhatsApp groups and word of mouth.
Ian Brown, from Gateshead, who works at a vehicle body shop, said he had lost £2,000 after investing in the scheme.
While his account shows that he has made more than £3,000, he has not been able to access the funds.
“They’ve got my money and I want it back,” he said.
His colleague, Andrew Hush, who said he lost £1,000, learned about the app through a friend at the gym.
He has also been unable to contact the people who run the site.
“I know lots of people who have lost a lot of money,” he added.
“I’ve been stung so my advice would be if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
The BBC has contacted Coscoin which, according to its website, is based in Washington in the US, and was founded in 2015.
A spokesman for Kraken said it has a range of fraud prevention procedures that help to monitor and freeze suspicious transactions taking place on the platform, with clients also able to access educational resources aimed at helping them spot signs of scams and fraud.
The app is no longer available to download from Apple’s app store. Apple have been contacted for a statement.