The Connecticut State Police, the Connecticut Department of Banking, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection have issued a consumer alert regarding scams involving virtual currency kiosks.
Similar to bank ATMs, these kiosks make it possible for people to send cryptocurrency payments like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether, by depositing cash.
Scammers create a false sense of urgency by tricking victims into withdrawing cash from their bank account and purchasing virtual currency on behalf of the scammer. Once the kiosk transaction is complete, it typically cannot be undone.
Some tactics used by scammers include:
- Romance Scams: Con artists contact victims through online social networks and dating apps, gain trust over time, and make promises. The scammer tells lies and requests money for false purposes, such as emergency medical fees, and disappears after receiving the funds.
- Pig Butchering Scams: Starting with a random text message, scammers will move the message with a victim over to an online messaging platform such as WhatsApp. After establishing a relationship, they pitch the victim fail-safe cryptocurrency investments, which go right into the scammer’s wallet.
- Investment Advisor Scams: Victims involved will be persuaded into investing on fake trading platforms, which will at first show them gains. After large amounts have been invested, fraudsters lock the victims out of their accounts.
- Computer Anti-Virus Protection Scams: Scammers will create false pop-up alerts on victim’s computer screens and pose as the help desk member which instructs the victim to purchase protection with cryptocurrency.
- Utility Company Scams: Fraudsters will pose as electric companies and threaten to cut off power at the victim’s home unless a payment via a cryptocurrency kiosk is made.
- Impersonation Scams: Scammers will pose as law enforcement, the IRS, an established business, prize promoters, or financial institutions and con victims into converting cash and making cryptocurrency payments.
It’s important to keep in mind that no legitimate business will request an advance payment in cryptocurrency or through a virtual currency kiosk. To protect yourself from becoming a victim:
- Do not pay anyone who contacts you and demands advance payment in cryptocurrency, gift cards, or money transfer.
- Ask questions and do not give your personal information.
- Contact a trusted person, friend, or family member for advice.
- Contact the published customer service number of the business to confirm the identity of the person, if the caller claims to be from a trusted bank or business.
If you find yourself a victim of fraud, you are urged to report the scam to the Connecticut Department of Banking, the Department of Consumer Protection, the Office of the Attorney General, or the State Police.
If your accounts with us may have been compromised, please visit any of our offices or give us a call at 860-376-4444.