Criminals targeting Bitcoin ATMs: FBI

November 24, 2021

Recently the FBI has made an announcement that they have witnessed an increase in scammers directing victims to use physical cryptocurrency ATMs and digital QR codes to complete payment transactions, according to National Interest.

“Criminal actors, in various fraudulent schemes, maliciously leverage cryptocurrency ATMs and QR codes to receive payments from victims. Such schemes include online impersonation schemes (scammer falsely identifies as a familiar entity such as the government, law enforcement, a legal office, or a utility company), romance schemes (scammer establishes an online relationship with a victim by creating a false sense of intimacy and dependency), and lottery schemes (scammer falsely convinces a victim that they have won an award and consequently demands the victim to pay lottery fees),” the statement said.

The FBI emphasized on the fact that, no matter what the scheme is, the QR code appears to be similar. Usually the scammers who ask for payments from the victims, direct them to take out money from an investment or retirement accounts. Further, they provide a QR code, which is linked to the scammer’s crypto wallet to use while transacting. Then the scammer leads them to an ATM physical store to insert money and buy cryptocurrency by using the QR code to auto-populate the recipient address.”

The pressing issue is that it becomes difficult for law enforcement to track crimes involving cryptocurrencies which leaves a thin chance to recover lost funds for victims.

Source: The National Interest

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