US Federal Trade Commission Warns Consumers About Falling for Crypto ATM Scam

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned consumers about scams involving cryptocurrency ATMs. “There’s a new spin on scammers asking people to pay with cryptocurrency,” the FTC described.

FTC’s Warning About Scams Involving Cryptocurrency ATMs

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a scam alert involving cryptocurrency ATMs Monday. The consumer notice, posted by Cristina Miranda from the FTC’s division of consumer and business education, states:

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 details.

The scammers might call the victims pretending to be from the government, law enforcement, or a local utility company, the FTC noted. They could also pretend to be a romantic interest you met online or someone calling to inform you that you’ve won a lottery. They will stay on the phone with you until they’ve got your money.

The FTC explained that the scammer will “direct you to withdraw money from your bank, investment, or retirement accounts.”

Next, they will direct you to go to a store with a cryptocurrency ATM and buy cryptocurrency. Then they will send you a QR code with their address embedded in it.

“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 FTC stressed.

The agency emphasized:

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

“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,” the FTC warned.

What do you think about scams involving cryptocurrency ATMs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin ( $0.00 ) in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin ( $0.00 ) security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.

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