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With cryptocurrency on the rise, there were bound to be scams that popped up regarding this topic eventually, and they are definitely here. In this newest scam, scammers ask people to pay with cryptocurrency.

How it works: you may get a call from someone pretending to be from the government, law enforcement, or a local utility company (a common imposter scam red flag). Or, maybe you fall for a romantic relationship online, or someone calls to say you’ve won the lottery or a prize (again, all very common reg flags for scams!).

Any way that they spin their relationship or reason for calling or contacting you, they’ll end up asking you for money. If you believe them and engage, they’ll direct you to withdraw money from your accounts. Next, they’ll tell you to go to a store with a cryptocurrency ATM (and they’ll stay on the phone the whole time).

Once you’re there, they’ll direct you to insert your money into the ATM and buy cryptocurrency. The scammer then sends you a QR code with their address embedded in it. Once you buy the cryptocurrency, they have you scan the code so the money gets transferred to them. But alas, by completing this step, your money is gone.

To go further in-depth learning about this scam you can check it out on the Federal Trade Commissions Website

Remember, it’s important to always be aware of these common red flags when it comes to scams and fraud:

  • You’re contacted out of the blue
  • You’re pressured to act quickly
  • You’re asked to pay something upfront or in advance
  • You’re receiving money you haven’t really ‘earned’ (like a prize)
  • You’re asked to send back a portion of the money you’re given
  • You’re asked to provide financial information
  • You’re asked to keep it a secret
  • If it seems too good to be true, remember, it probably is


Watch our CSE Couch Chat video as we talk with our Fraud Specialist, Bob about Cryptocurrency Scams.


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