US Federal Trade Commission Alerts Public of New Viral Crypto ATM Scam


The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently circulated a scam alert regarding cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs). The warning posted by Cristina Miranda from the Commission’s division of consumer and business education noted that:

“There’s a new spin on scammers asking people to pay with cryptocurrency.

It involves an impersonator, a QR code, and a trip to a store (directed by a scammer on the phone) to send your money to them through a cryptocurrency ATM.”

The notice revealed that scammers could contact unsuspecting victims, pretending to be from the government, law enforcement, or a local utility firm. These scammers also pretend to be romantic prospectively you met on the internet or a lottery company calling to inform you of false winnings. Notably, these scammers stay connected with you on the phone until their malicious goal is achieved.

The Federal Trade Commission Explains how These Scams Occur

The FTC explained that these criminals will “direct you to withdraw money from your bank, investment, or retirement accounts.” After that, they convince you to go to a store with a crypto ATM and purchase cryptocurrency. They then send a QR code with their wallet address embedded in it to the unsuspecting victim.

The FTC further explained: “Once you buy the cryptocurrency, they have you scan the code, so the money gets transferred to them. But then your money is gone.” The Commission asserted that:

“Nobody from the government, law enforcement, utility company, or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency.”

Finally, the notice read that: “If someone does, it’s a scam, every time. Any unexpected tweet, text, email, call, or social media message — particularly from someone you don’t know — asking you to pay them in advance for something, including with cryptocurrency, is a scam.”


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.