The FTC has warned everyone to stay alert for a new payment scam involving scammers and cryptocurrency ATMs.
The US Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about a new version of the cryptocurrency scam. The scam consists of three main components: an impersonator, a QR code, and a crypto ATM that victims are sent to to send funds.
According to the FTC, scammers pose as government officials, law enforcement officials, or local utility workers. Scammers also use dating apps and pretend to be potential romantic partners or call victims to let them know you’ve won a prize.
No matter how it all starts, it always ends with the scammer asking for money. When the user falls for the bait, the scammer encourages them to withdraw some cash and go to a crypto ATM. After that, they will be asked to buy a crypt through an ATM. This is where the QR code comes into play. They provide the victim with the QR code of their wallet address. Because of this, once the victim scans the code, the purchased crypto assets are transferred to the scammer’s account.
Christina Miranda of the FTC’s Consumer and Business Education Division explained:
“Here’s the most important thing to know: no one from the government, law enforcement, the utility, or the organizer of prizes will ever tell you to pay for them with cryptocurrencies. If someone does it, it’s a scam every time.”
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Meanwhile, a cryptocurrency crime report reveals that in 2021, $7.7 billion worth of cryptocurrencies were stolen from fraud victims worldwide. This number shows an increase of 81% compared to 2020.