A new scam using cryptocurrencies was discovered by the United States Federal Trade Commission. Three key components of the scam are a fake impersonator, QR code, and a crypto ATM to which victims will be directed to send their money.
FTC says fraudsters pose as local officials, law enforcement agents, or employees of local utilities companies. They also use dating apps to pretend to be romantic partners, or to call victims to announce they have won a prize.
It doesn’t matter how the scammer starts it, it always ends with him asking for money. The scammer will ask the victim to withdraw cash and then take them to a crypto ATM. They then ask for crypto to be purchased at the ATM. The QR code is used here. The victim receives the QR code from their wallet address. The victim can scan the code to transfer the crypto assets purchased to their account.
Cristina Miranda, Division of Consumer and Business Education at FTC explained:
“Here’s what you need to know: Nobody from the government, law enforcement or utility company will ever tell anyone to pay them in cryptocurrency. It’s a scam every time someone tells you to pay them with cryptocurrency.
Related: CertiK warns users not to use Arbix Finance.
A crypto crime report has revealed that $7.7 billion in crypto was stolen worldwide from victims of scams in 2021. This number is 81% higher than in 2020.