FBI issues new warning about crypto ATM scammers
The FBI has issued a new warning of phishing systems that use crypto ATMS and QR codes, the agency said in a public statement:
“The FBI has seen an increase in scammers instructing victims to use physical crypto ATMs and digital QR codes to complete payment transactions.”
According to the FBI, these schemes are online identity theft, lotteries, and erotic schemes. Regardless of the type of conspiracy, the FBI says these methods most commonly use cryptocurrency ATMs and QR codes. According to the FBI, scammers often ask victims for payment and it in turn takes them to a crypto ATM that has a QR code that points to the scammer’s wallet. The FBI added:
“The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency creates challenges that make recovery difficult.”
The agency added that after the victim made a payment, the fraudster took possession of the cryptocurrency and often transfers it to an account overseas. This is different from a traditional bank transfer, where payments take a day or two before they are settled:
“It can also make it difficult for law enforcement to get money back and many victims could suffer financial loss.”
Along with the warning, the FBI shared dots to help people protect themselves from ATM crypto-related scams.
These tips reflect some of the oldest advice regarding financial security, including sending payments to people who have spoken online and answering calls from unfamiliar phone numbers. The FBI advises people not to use crypto ATMs that claim to be anonymous, adding that instructions on how to use these machines are a strong indicator of fraud:
“These crypto ATMs may not comply with US federal regulations and can facilitate money laundering.”
On the positive side, the American Multinational Retail Corporation will allow its customers to purchase BTC through ATMs in some U.S. stores, and the initiative is already underway. Walmart has been involved with crypto in the past, but a few months ago it got embroiled in a fake story with Litecoin because of a partnership that allegedly allowed customers to make payments in crypto. While the rumors in the digital asset space were buzzing, they were actually fake and the market was headed south.