Once again, cryptocurrencies find themselves linked to a new form of scam that is rampant in the United States. This is what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reveals in a recent report on the use of cryptocurrency ATMs in the country. The commission indicates that these machines are involved in identity fraud which has already claimed many victims. Explanations.
Fake utility workers demanding cryptocurrency payments
The FTC reveals in its report that fraudsters pose as public service agents to approach their victims. Once contact has been established, they inform them that they have won a prize. The victims are then invited to send money to obtain the famous prize after several discussions. However, they are forced to make payment through a cryptocurrency distributor. To do this, the victims receive from the fraudsters a QR code and the address of a wallet to receive the funds.
In particular, they are asked to scan this code, after which the cryptocurrencies purchased from the distributor are transferred to the fraudster’s account. After the report was released, one of the FTC’s Consumer and Business Education Division officials urged Americans to be vigilant. “Here’s the main thing to know: no government, law enforcement, utility company, or price promoter is going to tell you to pay them in cryptocurrency. If someone does it, it’s a scam, every time“, did he declare.
Proliferation of cryptocurrency crimes
This new form of scam adds to the list of many crimes using cryptocurrencies as a means of transaction. Indeed, the massive adoption of cryptocurrencies has naturally pushed fraudsters to take advantage of the naivety of new investors in this market. Another report looking at crimes in the industry showed that $7.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen by various scams around the world in 2021. an 81% increase in scams compared to 2020 statistics. This proliferation of crimes is partially attributed to an influx of activity related to cryptocurrency trading.
The FTC is not the only US institution to emphasize the use of cryptocurrency distributors for criminal purposes. The Government Accountability Office (GOA) has also just reported that the weak regulation of these machines has encouraged the practice of money laundering, drug trafficking, but also that of human beings.
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Luc Jose Adjinacou
Far from having dampened my enthusiasm, an unsuccessful investment in 2017 on a few cryptos only increased my enthusiasm. I therefore resolved to study and understand the blockchain and its many uses and to relay with my pen information relating to this ecosystem.