Wednesday May 03, 2023
(Photos courtesy VCSO)
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is warning people, especially senior citizens, about a spike in the latest scam aimed at stealing your money by convincing you that you need to send money using a bitcoin ATM.
It usually starts with a phone call or email telling them to call a phone number to deal with a problem that might involve what they claim is a debt, a bill, a fine, or to cancel an order or refund money.
The fact is there’s probably nothing that is owed, no problem to be fixed, or money to be refunded.
The scam suspect then instructs the would-be victim to withdraw some money out of their bank account and take it to a nearby bitcoin ATM where they are told how to send the cash to a cryptocurrency wallet address.
Be very suspicious if that happens and do NOT follow their instructions.
If you do what they ask, the money is then probably gone, now in the hands of the scammer who is usually not even in the United States.
The sheriff’s office says they’ve seen a spike in this particular scam and they are planning to put warning signs on the bitcoin ATM’s.
The scammers might also ask to give them remote access to your computer, NEVER do that.
If they get that access they can get a hold of your personal information to make their claim seem legitimate and trick you.
Unsolicited calls or emails about something you were not aware of or from someone you do not know and trust from prior contacts should be considered suspicious.
Do not provide any personal information and contact local law enforcement for advice about how to proceed.