The Federal Trade Commission indicators everyone to stay vigilant of a new payment scam involving impersonators and crypto ATMs.
The FTC published an alert of a new version of a scam involving cryptocurrencies. The scam has three key components, an impersonator, a QR code and a crypto ATM where the victims will be directed to send money.
According to the FTC, fraudsters pretend to be public officials, law enforcement sellers or personnel of local utility companies. The imposters also make use of dating apps and pretend to be possible romantic partners or call victims to announce that you’ve received a prize.
No matter how it starts, it always ends up with the scammer asking for money. If the person falls for the spiel, the scammer tells them to withdraw some cash and go to a crypto ATM. After that, they would ask to buy crypto through the ATM. Here, the QR code comes into play. They share the QR code of their wallet address with the victim. Because of this, once the victim scans the code, the purchased crypto belongings would switch to the fraudster’s account.
Cristina Miranda from FTC’s the Division of Consumer and Business Education explains:
“Here’s the most important thing to know: nobody from the government, law enforcement, utility organization or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency. If any one does, it’s a scam, each time.”
Meanwhile, a crypto crime report indicates that in 2021, $7.7 billion worth of crypto was once stolen from scam victims worldwide. The number reveals an 81% increase in comparison to 2020.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.