The FBI is placing warning signs on bitcoin ATMs in Cuyahoga County, Ohio to warn residents not to fall for scams that require victims to send money to scammers via bitcoin ATMs.
What's happening in the American county
Cleveland's Cuyahoga County Scam Squad and the FBI are working together to warn the public of scams involving bitcoin, News 5 Cleveland reported. Old scams ranging from grandparents scam, explained Sheryl Harris, Director of the Cuyahoga County Consumer Department.
FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson warned that once victims have sent bitcoins, "it's nearly impossible to get them back, so the best we can do is prevent and that's why we're trying to spread the word."
The news bulletin said "Warnings will soon be placed on bitcoin ATMs across the county," noting that "The signals are meant to make people think twice before completing a transaction because they could be involved in a scam."
Harris added: “The signals are to give people the opportunity to stop, wait a minute… The government will never ask you for bitcoin, the prison will never ask you to pay in bitcoin, and your utility company does not accept payments in bitcoin ".
The FBI and Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs last week issued a warning to local businesses to be on the lookout for bitcoin ATM scams. The authorities are asking companies to display these warning signs in "a visible place or near the ATM".
Still the elderly in the sights
A man who nearly became the victim of a scam asking for bitcoin told the news that he received a call from someone who looked just like his son, who said he was injured in a car accident, was thrown in jail. and he needed the money to get out.
The man and his wife were instructed to withdraw $ 9.000 in cash, go to a bitcoin ATM, then use the QR code provided by the scammer to buy bitcoin and deposit the money. The man said that the shopkeeper who owned the ATM came up and said "Can I help you?". When he explained that he had to send money to a lawyer with the bitcoin ATM, the shopkeeper told him he would be scammed. The couple then called their son who confirmed that it was a scam.
Bryan P. Smith, Assistant Special Agent to the FBI, cautioned: “Education and prevention are the best tools to avoid being the victim of a financial scam… It is vital that consumers verify financial transactions before sending money in. any form, including virtual currency. Be financially secure, find out more before sending ".