There’s a new twist on ATM and bank wire scams

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The holiday season is just around the corner, which means crooks and cybercriminals will be out in force again. Tap or click here for details on a holiday decorating scam already circulating. Every year around this time, the number of security threats is skyrocketing.

It’s not just gifts and decorations that thieves use as bait. They are now focusing on cryptocurrencies and digital wallets.

The FBI has seen a spike in a wide range of crimes that target all aspects of crypto exchanges, digital wallets, and wire transfers. Read on for more details on these dangerous threats.

Here is the backstory

In a recent security bulletin, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center warned cryptocurrency users to be aware of a new scam that is spreading.

This is how it works. Criminals imitate legitimate businesses or government agencies and contact potential victims about unpaid fees owed for things like lottery winnings. Of course, the claims are false. Criminals can also pose as family members, disguise their identities and ask for money.

Victims are advised to transfer crypto to criminals through physical cryptocurrency ATM or QR code. This method is practically impossible to find because it automatically fills in the recipient’s address. Once the payment is made, the currency is instantly in the criminal’s account, and there is virtually nothing to be done to get it back.

Here are other forms of scams you should be aware of:

  • Family members requesting money through crypto payments
  • Government agencies claiming crypto for unpaid fees or fines
  • Romantic scams where the criminal establishes a relationship to gain trust and possibly asks for crypto
  • Lottery schemes where the criminal claims that you have won a jackpot but have to pay a fee first to collect

These are things to watch for this holiday season. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your finances.

What can you do about it

It’s relatively easy to get caught up in a scam, especially if you don’t know what to watch out for. Most think it will never happen to them, but if you’re not constantly vigilant, even the slightest miscalculation can cost you your savings.

Here are some tips from the FBI to protect you:

  • Never send payment to someone you’ve only spoken to online, even if you think you have established a relationship with them.
  • Don’t trust someone you’ve never met and scan a QR code or send payment through a physical cryptocurrency ATM.
  • If someone calls you claiming to represent a business or government agency, don’t give them personal information or send money. Instead, contact the official phone numbers listed on your credit / debit card or on an official website.
  • Never answer a caller from an unknown phone number who identifies as someone you know and asks for cryptocurrency.
  • Be careful when someone claims they can only accept cryptocurrency and identifies themselves as the government, law enforcement, law firm, or utility company. These entities probably won’t ask you to wire money, send checks, send money overseas, or make deposits to accounts of unknown people.
  • Avoid the anonymity of cryptocurrency ATMs and only require a phone number or email address. These cryptocurrency ATMs may not comply with US federal regulations and facilitate money laundering. Instructions for using cryptocurrency ATMs with these specific features are a major indicator of fraud.
  • If you are using a cryptocurrency ATM and the ATM operator calls you to explain that your transactions are fraud compliant and advises you to stop sending money, you should immediately stop or cancel. the transaction.

Keep reading

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