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Consumer Daily Reports

Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin ATM
Photo (c) salarko - Getty Images
Scammers have come up with a new – and rather ingenious – way to rip people off. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says the ruse involves a QR code, an impersonator, and a trip to a cryptocurrency ATM where the scammer finishes up their swindle.

The scammer’s first move is to call a victim and pretend to be with the government, a local utility company, or law enforcement. FTC officials say they have also seen instances where someone calls to say you’ve won a prize or to follow up on a potential romantic relationship.

The key trigger is that once they’ve gained your confidence by getting you to bite on the story they’re telling, the scammer then asks you for money. 

“If you believe the story they tell and you seem willing to engage, they’ll stay on the phone to direct you to withdraw money from your bank, investment, or retirement accounts,” Cristina Miranda from the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education, said in laying out the narrative.

The scammer’s next step is to employ a cryptocurrency ATM, which are digital cash machines that are starting to show up at places like Walmart and Circle K. Once the victim gets to an ATM, the scammer asks them to insert money and buy cryptocurrency. 

As the process unfolds, the scammer sends the victim a QR code to use during the transaction. However, that QR code is actually associated with the scammer’s cryptocurrency wallet. When the victim “buys” cryptocurrency at the ATM using that code, the money gets transferred to the scammer.

Using cryptocurrency ATMs is a clever part of the scam for a couple of reasons. According to a New Jersey investigation on the scam, close to 75% of the companies that operate a cryptocurrency ATM allow certain transactions to proceed without requiring the user to present any information outside of a cell phone number; more than half of those businesses permitted users to purchase up to $900 worth of cryptocurrency with only a cell phone number or no information at all.

How to protect yourself

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center is providing guidelines for consumers to follow so they can protect themselves from this scam. That advice includes the following:

  • Don’t send payments to someone you have only spoken to online, even if you believe you have established a relationship with the individual.

  • Don’t follow instructions from someone you have never met to scan a QR code and send payment via a physical cryptocurrency ATM.

  • Don’t respond to a caller who claims to be a representative of a company that you have an account with who requests personal information or demands cryptocurrency. Contact the entity directly for verification.

  • Don’t respond to a caller from an unknown telephone number who identifies as a person you know and requests cryptocurrency.

  • Practice caution when an entity states they can only accept cryptocurrency and identifies as an official with the government, law enforcement, a legal office, or a utility company. These entities will not instruct you to wire funds, send checks, send money overseas, or make deposits into unknown individuals’ accounts.

  • Avoid cryptocurrency ATMs advertising anonymity and only require a phone number or e-mail. These cryptocurrency ATMs may not be in compliance with U.S. federal regulations and may facilitate money laundering. Instructions to use cryptocurrency ATMs with these specific characteristics are a significant indicator of fraud.

  • If you are using a cryptocurrency ATM and the ATM operator calls you to explain that your transactions are consistent with fraud and advises you to stop sending money, you should stop or cancel the transaction immediately.

If you believe you have become a victim of this type of fraud, the FTC requests that you report the incident to its site here. The FBI also encourages victims to report fraudulent or suspicious activities to the FBI IC3.



Posted: 2022-01-11 19:03:12

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Scammers are following the headlines about economic impact payments. Know how to spot and avoid the scams to keep your money and information to yourself. Learn more at https://ftc.gov/coronavirus. ********************************** Transcript: Hi, I’m Becca Kelly Slaughter, Acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency. You’ve probably heard the great news that the American Rescue Plan is now law. That means lots of people will soon be getting desperately-needed economic impact payments—some folks call them stimulus payments—of up to fourteen hundred dollars. Many of you have been here before, so you know these funds will come through direct deposit, check, or debit card. But we here at the FTC would like to remind you that scammers follow the headlines, too. So here are a few sure ways to spot a scammer trying to take your money or personal information. First, know that nobody in the government will ask you to pay anything up front to get your economic impact payment. There’s no way to get your payment faster, and there’s no form to fill out. That’s simply a scam. Second, the government will not call, email, text, or message you on social media to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer. Third, anyone who tells you to pay by money transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency is a scammer. No matter WHY they say you need to pay. If you spot these scams, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Every report helps us try to stop scammers. And let me say a word to would-be scammers: the FTC will use all of its enforcement authority to come after bad actors who try to take advantage of people anxiously awaiting relief. To learn more about avoiding pandemic-related scams, visit FTC.gov/coronavirus. And help us spread the word. Share these tips and this video through your network. Thanks for helping us protect people from scams. ********************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review any comments before they are posted (except for ones that contain urls and profanity), but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches or promotions 4) have urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses

Published: 12th Mar 2021 03:59:11   By: FTCvideos

FTC Video: Cómo evitar estafas de ingresos | Federal Trade Commission


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Aprenda a detectar propuestas de negocios, programas de asesoría y oportunidades de inversiones que son estafas y cómo evitarlas. Para aprender más visite https://ftc.gov/estafasdeingresos *********************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review any comments before they are posted (except for ones that contain urls and profanity), but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches or promotions 4) have urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses

Published: 14th Dec 2020 04:05:45   By: FTCvideos

FTC Video: How to Avoid Income Scams | Federal Trade Commission


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Learn about scams disguised as legitimate business offers, coaching programs, and investment opportunities and how to avoid them. Learn more at https://www.ftc.gov/incomescams. **************************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review any comments before they are posted (except for ones that contain urls and profanity), but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches or promotions 4) have urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses

Published: 14th Dec 2020 04:04:51   By: FTCvideos

FTC Video: Cómo Reportar Fraude en ReporteFraude.ftc.gov | Federal Trade Commission


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Este video demuestra cómo reportar fraude, estafas, y malas prácticas comerciales a la Comisión Federal de Comercio (Federal Trade Commission, FTC) en https://ReporteFraude.ftc.gov y por qué es importante hacerlo. ****************************** The Federal Trade Commission deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers' interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. Comment Moderation Policy We welcome your comments and thoughts about the information on this page. If you do have something to say, please be courteous and respectful to other commenters. We won't routinely review any comments before they are posted (except for ones that contain urls and profanity), but we will delete any comments that: 1) contain spam or are off-topic 2) use vulgar language or offensive terms that target specific groups or contain personal attacks 3) are sales pitches or promotions 4) have urls or links to commercial sites 4) spread clearly misleading or false information or 5) include personal information, like home addresses

Published: 5th Nov 2020 03:59:43   By: FTCvideos

DIY Video: Lettuce Table Project | GARDEN | Great Home Ideas


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Melissa finds a fun and inventive way to recycle an old table and a kitchen sink. They’re going to get a new lease on life as a lettuce planter! It’s a simple project you’ll be able to do this weekend and might even get the kids interested in gardening and their greens. Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 11th Aug 2022 11:30:03   By: Great Home Ideas

DIY Video: The Right Tool for the Right Job | GARDEN | Great Home Ideas


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Charlie show's you which tool to use for which job in the garden. Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 9th Aug 2022 11:45:01   By: Great Home Ideas

DIY Video: TINY Backyard Makeover | DIY | Great Home Ideas


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Charlie and Adam makeover a tiny backyard for a couple in their first home. Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 7th Aug 2022 11:45:00   By: Great Home Ideas

DIY Video: Amazing Homes - Basin Beach House | HOME | Great Home Ideas


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Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 6th Aug 2022 11:45:02   By: Great Home Ideas

DIY Video: Easy Front of House Makeover | DIY | Great Home Ideas


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Joh Griggs shows you how to give your place street appeal with some quick and easy jobs. Welcome to Great Home Ideas, where you’ll find inspiring home makeovers, delicious recipes, quick & easy DIY projects, design & gardening ideas, plus hints, tips, how tos and advice on pets, health, tech and more. Check out our channel & subscribe to see more videos like this one every day of the week. Click here to subscribe: https://bit.ly/3hxN7d5

Published: 5th Aug 2022 11:45:03   By: Great Home Ideas

Business Video: 'Bloomberg Surveillance: Early Edition' Full (08/12/22)


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Bloomberg Surveillance: Early Edition, live from London and New York. Francine Lacqua, Anna Edwards, Matt Miller, and Kailey Leinz deliver the latest news and analysis on the markets with leaders in global finance and economics. Kallum Pickering, Senior Economist at Berenberg, says the Fed should be more concerned about inflation expectations than labor markets. Sarah Hewin, Chief Economist for Americas and Europe at Standard Chartered, says the market sees the Fed making a mistake.

Published: 12th Aug 2022 06:38:18   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Business Video: 'Bloomberg Real Yield' (08/12/2022)


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Lisa Abramowicz highlights the market-moving news you need to know with 30 minutes dedicated to fixed-income. Featuring a round-table including Wells Fargo's Maureen O'Connor, Invesco's Kristina Campmany and Richard Bernstein Advisors' Michael Contopoulos. -------- Follow Bloomberg for business news & analysis, up-to-the-minute market data, features, profiles and more: http://www.bloomberg.com Connect with us on... Twitter: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/

Published: 12th Aug 2022 06:14:51   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Business Video: 'Bloomberg Surveillance Simulcast' Full Show 8/12/2022


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Tom Keene, Jonathan Ferro and Lisa Abramowicz have the economy and the markets "under surveillance" as they cover the latest in finance, economics and investment, and talk with the leading voices shaping the conversation around world markets. This show is simulcast worldwide on Bloomberg Television and Radio. -------- Follow Bloomberg for business news & analysis, up-to-the-minute market data, features, profiles and more: http://www.bloomberg.com Connect with us on... Twitter: https://twitter.com/business Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloombergbusiness Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloombergbusiness/

Published: 12th Aug 2022 05:45:59   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Business Video: Rhine River Falls to Dangerously Low Level


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The Rhine River fell to a new low on Friday, further restricting the supply of vital commodities to parts of inland Europe as the continent battles with its worst energy crisis in decades. The water a key spot is below 16 inches. Bloomberg's Rachel Morison explains what this means.

Published: 12th Aug 2022 05:15:01   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Business Video: Five Chinese Companies to Delist From US Exchanges


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Five Chinese state-owned companies plan to delist from American exchanges. China Life Insurance Co., PetroChina Co. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. were among the biggest decliners on the Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index with a drop of at least 3% each after they all disclosed their intentions to delist. Sonali Basak reports on "Bloomberg The Open."

Published: 12th Aug 2022 04:59:42   By: Bloomberg Markets and Finance

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