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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 15, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , bitcoin atm, , ,   

    Jury duty scammers find the perfect victim 

    By Greg Collier

    The jury duty scam is a fraudulent scheme where scammers impersonate officials from the legal system, typically claiming to represent a court or law enforcement agency. The scam often begins with a phone call or email informing the targeted individual that they have failed to appear for jury duty and now face legal consequences such as fines or even arrest warrants. To resolve the supposed issue, the scammer then requests sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers, financial details, or even payment for the fabricated penalties. These scams play on the fear of legal repercussions, catching victims off guard and coercing them into providing sensitive information or money to avoid fictitious consequences. If you go by the number of times this scam finds its way into headlines, it may be the most prolific scam going today.

    Recently, in the Atlanta Metro Area, scammers found a victim who had recently gone through an experience which made her the perfect victim for the jury duty scam. The scammers posed as her local police and told her she had missed jury duty. In this instance, they used the name of an actual police officer from that department. They told her a warrant was about to be issued for her arrest, but she could avoid that if she just paid a $3000 fine in Bitcoin. The victim deposited the money into a Bitcoin ATM that was in a local gas station. What made the victim more vulnerable to this scam than most was the fact she had just been excused from jury duty last month, so she thought the phony charge was somehow related to that. It was more than likely a coincidence that scammers found such a victim, as scammers typically cast the widest net possible in order to find as many victims as possible.

    If you receive any communication regarding jury duty, it is essential to independently verify its legitimacy. Contact your local courthouse or law enforcement agency directly using official contact information to confirm the authenticity of the message. Keep in mind that legitimate government entities do not employ aggressive tactics, issue threats, or demand immediate payments over the phone or through email. Should you suspect that you have become a target of a scam, promptly report the incident to your local law enforcement agency and the relevant authorities to ensure appropriate action is taken.

  • Geebo 5:28 pm on August 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bitcoin atm, ,   

    Does cryptocurrency automatically mean a scam? 

    Does cryptocurrency automatically mean a scam?

    By Greg Collier

    Ok, we admit that our headline asks a pretty loaded question we’re pretty sure will get some crypto-bros all riled up. We’re not talking about people who legitimately and knowingly invest and trade in cryptocurrencies. Instead, we’re talking about your average consumer, and for them, when someone asks for payment in cryptocurrency, it’s almost always a scam.

    Before cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum became somewhat mainstream, scammers would ask for payment in gift cards because the funds could easily be emptied from the card, and once that happens they’re virtually untraceable. For similar reasons, scammers have started demanding their payments be made in cryptocurrency. While cryptocurrency can technically be traced, the nature of cryptocurrency allows its users to remain pseudonymous.

    The problem for scammers used to be getting their victims to convert their own money into cryptocurrency. Depending on the scam, scammers could walk their victims through an online cryptocurrency exchange, but something easier has come along. Enter the Bitcoin ATM.

    Bitcoin ATMs are kiosks that allow anyone to either buy or sell Bitcoin. At one of these ATMs, someone could enter their Bitcoin wallet information and exchange their Bitcoin for cash. Conversely, someone could purchase Bitcoin by depositing cash into the machine, and that’s where scammers come in.

    For the average consumer, anyone who asks for some kind of payment or transfer in cryptocurrency is a scammer. Businesses won’t ask you to pay your bills in cryptocurrency. Banks will not tell you your money needs to be protected by exchanging it for cryptocurrency. Neither, will the police, the government, or any tech giant like Apple or Microsoft.

    These scams tend to target the elderly due to their perceived lack of knowledge about modern technology. In just the past 24 hours, we found three stories involving elderly victims putting their money into a Bitcoin ATM, which went straight to the scammer’s digital wallet.

    In Kansas City, a man was dumping thousands of dollars of cash into a Bitcoin ATM at a gas station. Thankfully, the clerk noticed what the man was doing and contacted the police. When the police arrived, the man was still on the phone with the scammer. The scammer hung up once the police officers introduced themselves. The man thought he was talking to his bank, who told him to move his money to keep it safe. Again, that’s not a thing banks do.

    In the Reno area of Nevada, an elderly man almost lost $15,000 to scammers. This victim was told their bank account had been connected to criminal activity. Once again, the victim was told to move their money to protect it. In this instance, the scammers could have impersonated law enforcement officers, his bank or both. This man was lucky, as local police got a search warrant for the Bitcoin ATM, and were able to recover his cash. However, that is the exception and not the norm.

    Lastly, a victim from New Jersey lost $25,000 to a Bitcoin ATM scam. This victim received an email that appeared to come from his bank about a transaction they didn’t make. He was also probably asked to deposit the money into a Bitcoin ATM to protect his bank account.

    Scammers are the only ones who insist on receiving payments in cryptocurrency. Any reputable business will never ask you to send cryptocurrency as a prerequisite for making a purchase or ensuring the safety of your funds. Such requests are always indicative of fraudulent activity.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 17, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bank robbery, bitcoin atm, , , , ,   

    Job scam uses victims to rob banks 

    Job scam uses victims to rob banks

    By Greg Collier

    Recently, the city of Omaha, Nebraska, experienced a bank robbery and an attempted bank robbery with similar M.O.s. In both instances, a woman handed a phone to the bank teller. The person on the phone threatened the bank tellers into giving money to the person who handed them the phone. Except, the people standing at the teller’s counter had no idea they were being used in a bank robbery. So, how did this happen? We could just say ‘Craigslist’ and leave it at that, but we’ll give our readers a more in-depth explanation.

    According to a local news report, the women who entered the banks had replied to a Craigslist ad looking for someone to help with a sick and elderly relative. Once the women responded to the ad, they were told they would be helping with, “light housework, grocery store runs, and helping with finances.” Don’t you think classifying ‘helping with finances’ as bank robbery is a bit much? Anyway, the women were told they needed to go to the bank to withdraw money for the relative’s medical bills. The women handed the phones to the tellers, thinking their employer was discussing a withdrawal.

    Only one of the women was ‘successful’ and thought nothing of it when the teller handed her the money. That woman was instructed to deposit the money at a Bitcoin ATM.

    To make matters worse, the supposed employer obtained the women’s bank information, promising he would pay them through direct deposit. The scammer did try to steal from one of the victim’s accounts, but was unsuccessful.

    At the time of this writing, no arrest has been made.

    While a scam like this is unlikely to happen to the average jobseeker, it does highlight a couple of red flags when looking for a job online. If your employer only communicates through text messages, instant messaging, or phone call, and won’t meet you personally, there’s an excellent chance they’re a scammer. Also, if the position requires you to make any kind of payment involving cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, there’s an even grater chance the job is a scam.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 21, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin atm, , , us marhals   

    Never move your money for law enforcement 

    By Greg Collier

    Police impersonation scams are far from new, but they seem to be picking up steam lately if the reporting is to be believed. Even we made a post recently about three different police impersonation scams. Although, the phrase ‘police impersonation’ can be a misnomer. Scammers also impersonate federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, the DEA, and Borders and Customs. Or, in the case of today’s scam, the U.S. Marshals Service.

    An elderly woman from Massachusetts recently received a phone call from someone claiming to be a U.S. Marshal. The caller told the woman she had been a victim of identity theft and that her money was at risk. The victim was then instructed to empty her bank account, so the money could be ‘protected’ by the U.S. Marshals. She was told she’ll deposit into a Bitcoin ATM, where she would have a digital wallet that would be hers alone.

    The victim was then instructed to go to four different branches of her bank and withdrawal $30,000, all the while being kept on the phone with the phony Marshal. Unfortunately, none of the bank branches ever inquired about the withdrawals.

    She made two deposits into two separate Bitcoin ATMs before driving to her attorney’s office, who immediately informed her it was a scam.

    Seniors can be particularly vulnerable to police impersonation scams, since many of their generation were raised to have a health respect for the police. It also didn’t help that this scammer sounded calm and helpful on the call, while most scammers threaten their victims with arrest.

    Moving your money to protect it from hackers and identity thieves isn’t a thing. If a bank account becomes compromised, the money is gone instantly. There’s no ‘grace period’ where police can intervene. Additionally, law enforcement doesn’t tend to warn consumers if they’be been a victim of identity theft. That would be something the victim would need to report to police. Lastly, anytime someone you don’t know personally brings up Bitcoin as a form of payment, the odds are you’re being scammed since the cryptocurrency is largely unrecoverable.

    If you receive a call like this, ask for the officer’s or agent’s name and badge number before calling the actual police department or agency they claim to be from.

    If you know someone who you think may be vulnerable to this scam, please let them know.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 30, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin atm, , , ,   

    Victim evicted after rental scam 

    By Greg Collier

    A man from Durham, North Carolina, says that he is homeless after falling victim to a rental scam. The man is said to have found a listing for a house for rent that had three bedrooms and two baths that was listed for a reasonable rent.

    The man was even able to tour the home after being given the code to the lockbox that contained a key to the home. The man exchanged several text messages with the person he thought was the landlord. He was eventually given a lease and was asked to pay the deposit in Bitcoin.

    The person he was texting with gave the man step-by-step instructions on how to deposit the money into a Bitcoin ATM. The texts even included a QR code for the man to use when making the deposit. The man ended up sending $2100 as a deposit.

    Not too long after the payment was made, the man discovered he had been scammed. After losing his money, he no longer had money to pay the rent at his current home, and was evicted. He recently told his local media he’s currently homeless after being evicted.

    According to the local news, there was a sign inside the home warning anyone touring the property to watch out for scams. However, scammers usually explain that away pretty successfully. Typically, they’ll tell their victims that they had listed the home with a rental agency, but are now renting it out themselves.

    The way scammers are able to access the property’s lockbox us by posing as a prospective tenant to the rental agency. This way they’re able to obtain the code to the lockbox, since some agencies don’t change the lockbox code as long as the property is listed.

    If you’re ever looking to rent a property and a supposed landlord asks you to pay in Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, the odds are likely you’re about to be scammed. In layman’s terms, cryptocurrencies ate virtually untraceable and are near impossible to reclaim once money has been transferred.

    When looking for a home to rent, always do a web search on the home’s address. Look to see if there are multiple listings for the same address. If there are, look at the listings for a rental agency or a property management company. Those are typically the legitimate listings. And if the multiple listings have different rent prices, the lower one is almost guaranteed to be a scam.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin atm, , , , , ,   

    Work from home scammers have thought of everything 

    By Greg Collier

    We never like to give scammers any credit, but sometimes they’re pretty clever and their scams ingenious. A profitable scam requires a massive investment of time and has to be planned out meticulously. Plans have to be made for almost any situation, in case something with the scam goes off-script somewhere along the way. That’s part of what makes scams so frustrating. Scammers could probably be successful in legitimate fields if they put their minds to it. Instead, we get stories like this where victims lose thousands of dollars.

    A woman from the Kansas City area recently graduated from college. Since she didn’t own a vehicle, she wanted to find a job where she could work from home. She accepted a job offer that she thought was a legitimate company. What was actually going in is that the scammers were posing as this company. She even did her due diligence by researching the company.

    The problems started, as most work from home scams do, when she received a check from her phony employer. They asked her to deposit the check into her bank account, then use Zelle to send money to an office supply company for her work equipment. Surprisingly, Zelle blocked the transaction.

    The scammers didn’t even hesitate. They then instructed her to go to a local Bitcoin ATM to send $4500 to the office supply company, which she did.

    As you might expect, the check turned out to be a fake, and now the woman is responsible for the $5000 check she deposited into her account.

    No matter how legitimate the company may seem, no real employer is going to ask you to deposit a check into your bank account and then have you use it for business expenses. Real companies just don’t work that way. They also won’t have you pay vendors using apps like Zelle, nor Bitcoin ATMs. Real employers have vendors that they’ll pay themselves to furnish any equipment that may be needed for a legitimate work from home job.

    Anyone who says otherwise is just trying to rip you off.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bitcoin atm, , ,   

    Couple loses $350K In Apple scam 

    By Greg Collier

    To be honest, there’s not a lot of information about this story. The report that we’ve read spends more time discussing the amount lost to the scammers, which, to be fair, is a lot. However, we can assume how the scam worked from previous scams in a similar vein. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

    An elderly couple from the state of Michigan are said to have lost $350,000 to a tech support scam. The couple reportedly withdrew money from several different accounts to send money to the scammers through a Bitcoin ATM.

    The county sheriff’s office where this scam took place says that they are familiar with scams like this, but this is the largest amount lost they’ve ever seen.

    What we do know about the scam is that the couple received a message on their computer that appeared to come from Apple Computers with a phone number to call.

    This sounds a lot like the pop-up scams that claim to be from Microsoft. These pop-ups, which can lock up your computer, say things like your computer has a virus, or is in danger of being hacked. These pop-ups usually also instruct victims to call a phone number to resolve the issue.

    When a victim calls one of these phony customer service numbers, they’ll be told some outlandish tale about how their computer is being hacked, and the hackers are about to steal all the victim’s money. The victim will then be instructed that in order to protect their money, they need to move it somewhere safe. This is when the scammers will direct the victim to withdraw their money from their bank accounts and send it to the scammers in the forms of gift cards, cryptocurrency, or some other form of untraceable payment.

    What many victims don’t know is that companies like Apple, Microsoft, or Google don’t really know whether your computer has been compromised or not. If you receive one of these pop-up messages, turn your computer off. Hold down the power button until it turns off, if you need to. If the pop-ups continue, you may need to run a malware scan using a product like Malwarebytes. Malware and viruses are more likely to affect computers that run Microsoft Windows than Apple computers.

    If you still can’t get your computer to function properly, try taking the device to a computer repair store. It will cost you a lot less in the end than sending the money to scammers.

    But whatever you do, do not call the phone number in the pop-up message.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bitcoin atm, , , ,   

    Scammer drives elderly victim to Bitcoin ATM 

    Scammer drives elderly victim to Bitcoin ATM

    By Greg Collier

    Scammers showing up at the door of their elderly victims is unfortunately not new. We’ve seen this mostly with the grandparent scam, where the scammers pose as couriers picking up the money to supposedly bail out one of the victim’s grandchildren. We’ve also seen an increasing number of scammers who get their victims to give the scammers their money through Bitcoin ATMs. This mostly happens with shut off scams, where the scammers pose as power companies, threatening the victims with their service being shut off immediately if they don’t pay. Now, take the two most alarming parts of those scams, and you have one of the more frightening scams we’ve discussed.

    In Fresno, California, an elderly woman got a pop-up on her computer claiming her device had a virus and that she needed to call Microsoft. The number included in the pop-up did not go to Microsoft, but to a scammers’ phone. The scammer told the woman that someone overseas is trying to hack into her bank account. She was instructed to go to her bank and withdraw $9,000. The scammer also told her that she couldn’t call anyone else, or their phone would get the virus. She was even told to tell the bank that she was withdrawing her money to buy a new car if the bank asked.

    After withdrawing the money, the bank manager even drove the woman home due to the heat and the fact she was carrying a large amount of cash. She had taken an Uber to get to the bank.

    After she got home, the scammer called her back and said that having a large amount of cash at home was a security risk, so they’ll send someone to her home to take her to a Bitcoin ATM to ‘protect’ her money. Someone picked up the woman and drove her to a gas station, where they instructed her on how to deposit the money into the Bitcoin kiosk. This actually sent the money to the scammers and was unrecoverable. Thankfully, the scammer or their accomplice took the woman home unharmed.

    There are few things more frightening than thinking about an elderly relative being driven by a stranger while they’re carrying a lot of money. We’re sure it also makes the scam victim feel less secure in their own home.

    As is with most tech support scams, computer companies like Microsoft or Apple have no idea whether your computer has a virus or not. If they did, that would be a huge breach of privacy. Also, any time someone you don’t know tells you not to call your family or police is virtually guaranteed to be a scammer. Lastly, you can’t protect your money at a Bitcoin ATM. They are mostly used to convert cash to Bitcoin. In these scams, victims are depositing their cash into the scammer’s Bitcoin wallet.

    Scams like this can be devastating to the elderly, as some families decide to oversee their finances. While this would alert family members to large bank transactions, many seniors feel like this robs them of their independence.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 21, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , bitcoin atm, , , , , , ,   

    Scammers accuse victim of money laundering 

    Scammers accuse victim of money laundering

    By Greg Collier

    A woman from Rochester, Minnesota, recently lost thousands of dollars to scammers. It started when the woman received a robocall that claimed to be from Amazon. The recording said that she had been charged for several Amazon purchases, and to press 1 if she did not make them. After she pressed 1, someone claiming to be an Amazon representative spoke to her. The caller said that they would speak to her bank about the charges.

    Not too long after that call, the woman received another call from someone claiming to be with the Federal Trade Commission. This caller told her that her identity had been stolen. The caller told the woman to protect her money, she would need to withdraw the money from her bank account. However, she was told not to contact police, or she could be accused of money laundering. She was then instructed to deposit the money into a Bitcoin ATM that was at a gas station. The victim lost $7,000 in total.

    This scam has a lot of moving parts, but each one is a red flag if you know what to look for. For example, Amazon does not call customers about fraudulent charges. Even on Amazon’s own help page, they say that if you received any communication about a charge you didn’t make, it likely didn’t come from Amazon. If you receive any communication like this, first check your Amazon account for any fraudulent charges. If there are any fraudulent charges, you can dispute them with Amazon, but you need to make first contact. Amazon will not call you.

    While the FTC is a branch of the Department of Justice, they typically do not call consumers to let them know they’ve been a victim of identity theft. Unfortunately, identity theft is usually only detected by the victim and not law enforcement. Also, no government or law enforcement agency will ever call you and threaten you with arrest while supposedly trying to assist you. If someone tells you to not contact the police, your best bet is to contact the police immediately.

    Lastly, no government entity is going to ask you to move your money to Bitcoin, especially if the Bitcoin ATM is at a gas station. While cryptocurrencies may have gained a modicum of mainstream acceptance, it’s nowhere near the point where the government is using it as a consumer protection platform.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bitcoin atm, , , , , , , ,   

    Scam Round Up: Door to door prescription scam and more 

    Scam Round Up: Door to door prescription scam and more

    By Greg Collier

    Today, we’re bringing you three more scams happening around the country that could easily show up in your area.


    With the weather being warmer, even with rising gas prices, more people are taking to the roads. This has allegedly led to a resurgence of the car warp scam. This is when scammers promise their victims they can make money by wrapping their car in advertisements. While there are legitimate offers for this, the majority of them online are scams. The car wrapping scam is just another avenue for the fake check scam. The scammers send victims a fake check they’re supposed top deposit into their bank account and then use the remainder of the check to pay an ad agency who provides the wrap. The supposed ad agency is part of the scam as well. The victim almost always ends up being held responsible for the full amount of the check to their bank.


    Unfortunately, another elderly victim was recently targeted in yet another computer virus scam. The Massachusetts woman was using her computer when a message said that her device had been compromised. The message contained a phone number that claimed to be from Microsoft and that she would need to call it to have her computer fixed. This number did not go to Microsoft, but instead went to what is essentially a call center for scammers. They instructed her to take $30,000 out of her bank account and deposit it into a Bitcoin ATM. Luckily, police were able to intervene, and the woman got her money back. Keep in mind with this scam that companies like Microsoft don’t usually take phone calls, and no computer repair is worth $30,000.


    Lastly, we have a story out of Oklahoma City, where authorities are warning about a particularly frightening scam. Law enforcement there are saying that people there are posing as pharmacy employees and going door to door asking residents for expired medication. These are not pharmacy employees, and they are looking for narcotics. If someone comes to your door asking for expired prescriptions, you may want to contact your local police. If you do have expired prescriptions, especially if they’re opioids, you can take them to many pharmacies which do have drug disposal programs. It is also recommended that you can dispose of them in the trash if you mix them with something unpleasant like used cat litter or coffee grounds.


    Hopefully, these scams won’t come to your area, but if they do, you’re now better prepared for them.

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