The FBI has released a Public Service Announcement PSA warning consumers about a new scam tactic that involves cryptocurrency ATMs.
FBI Released New Crypto Scam Technique
According to the FBI, the scam artist usually persuades the victim to deposit money into his or her cryptocurrency ATM. According to CoinDesk, the client is then prompted to deliver the acquired bitcoin to the fraudster via an address encoded in a QR code. Now, while the actual scamming is seemingly low-budget and low-tech, it’s still interesting to know that these criminals might be improving on their old methods. This time, however, with crypto.
According to the agency, the scammer usually contacts their victim and persuades them to pay money in exchange for promises of being together soon, or promises of bigger returns, or by impersonating a legitimate financial organization such as a bank or utility company.
After persuading the potential victim, the fraudster will instruct them to obtain cash (from any source, even borrowing or withdrawing from their retirement accounts) and proceed to an ATM that sells cryptocurrency and can read QR codes. When the victim arrives and scans the QR code supplied by the scammer, the machine will be told to send any cryptocurrency acquired to the scammer’s address.
Although the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission have already issued some helpful advice on how to prevent being scammed, the truth is that it all comes down to you. If someone you don’t know is asking you to send them money, don’t do it. Be it by cash or any other method, just don’t.