The Federal Trade Commission or FTC of the United States has issued a warning about a new version of a fraud-related to cryptocurrencies. The three major components involved in the scam are an impersonator, a crypto ATM, and a QR code where sufferers will be encouraged to send money.
According to the FTC, fraudsters pose as governmental authorities, law enforcement agents, or representatives of local power companies. Imposters also use online dating apps to impersonate possible romantic partners or call victims to convince them that they have won a prize.
In Australia, a couple lost more than $100k to a crypto scam in December 2021.
The scam includes QR codes and ATMs
FTC says that the fraud always ends with the fraudster asking for money, no matter how it begins. If the victim falls for the spiel, the scammer instructs them to withdraw money and visit a crypto ATM. They then direct victims to buy cryptocurrency via the ATM. The QR code comes into the equation here. They provide the victim with the QR code for their wallet address. As a result, the purchased crypto assets will shift to the fraudster’s wallet once the target scans the given code.
The FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education’s Cristina Miranda explained:
“Here’s the main thing to know: nobody from the government, law enforcement, utility company, or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency. If someone does, it’s a scam, every time.”
Furthermore, according to a crypto crime study from 2021, $7.7 billion in crypto has been taken from fraud victims around the world. In comparison to 2020, the figure has increased by 81%.
It is not the first time that the crypto community is witnessing such a scam. Back in November 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation or FBI issued an official warning against crypto scams that use ATMs and QR codes.