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FTC issues public warning about new crypto ATM scam

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The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about a new cryptocurrency-related scam. An impostor, a QR code, and a crypto ATM where victims will be directed to send money are the three main components of the hoax.

Fraudsters impersonate government officials, law enforcement officers, or employees of local power providers, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Imposters also use dating apps to pose as potential romantic partners, or they call victims to inform them that they have won a prize.

It always ends with the scammer requesting money, regardless of how it begins. If the consumer falls for the con, the scammer instructs them to withdraw funds and visit a cryptocurrency ATM. They’d then ask to buy cryptocurrency from an ATM. The QR code is useful in this situation. They provide the victim a QR code that contains their wallet’s address. As a result, the purchased crypto assets will be transferred to the fraudster’s account once the victim scans the code.

Cristina Miranda from FTC’s the Division of Consumer and Business Education elaborates:

“The most important thing to remember is that no one from the government, law enforcement, utility company, or prize promoter will ever encourage you to pay with cryptocurrency. It’s always a fraud whenever someone does it.”

Meanwhile, according to a crypto crime study from 2021, $7.7 billion in cryptocurrency taken from fraud victims around the world. In comparison to 2020, the figure has increased by 81%.

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