A West Australian man has lost more than $2 million to online scammers, after being caught up in an international 'cash washing' con.
WA Police said the man, who wants only to be known as Bryan from Boyanup in the state's southwest, was conned over four years by claims he could make up to STG32 million ($A53.77 million) in the scheme.
It involved meeting the fraudsters in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai where they demonstrated a method involving expired bank notes coated in a white substance which would be turned into useable currency after being washed in chemicals.
He was initially asked to invest $US80,000 to buy the special chemicals needed to complete the process - and the con then continued to fleece Bryan of everything he owned.
Bryan, who was preparing to retire, said he may lose his home as a result of the loss.
"I can only blame myself for being so blind and the more I got into it, the blinder I got. I decided I needed to get out of it and wake up. I hope that by telling my story people will become aware and not get caught like I have," Bryan said.
Project Sunbird, a joint operation between Consumer Protection and WA Police, flagged the fraud and alerted the 56-year-old mine worker.
"This particular fraud was supported by sophisticated fake websites replicating legitimate investment banking companies and a bogus account gave the victim the impression he had control of his funds when he did not," said Detective Senior Sergeant Dom Blackshaw of the WA's Major Fraud Squad.Det Blackshaw said the fraudsters had covered their electronic tracks, making them very hard to catch.