One woman was in the right place at the right time, which kept her from becoming the latest victim of a cryptocurrency scam.
How a woman was stopped from being the last victim
The elderly woman is believed to have withdrawn approximately $30,000 from her bank account. He then headed to a bitcoin ATM in the city of Sudbury. There, she was directed, over the phone, by someone claiming to be on the Microsoft support team. They were giving you instructions on how to transfer the money through the machine and send it to a specific address.
Area police say what most merchants probably already know… that the caller was not from Microsoft. They were actually a scammer looking to get some cryptocurrencies they didn’t earn. Sudbury Police Spokesperson Lieutenant John Perodeau explained in an interview:
She was hacked. Fortunately, we were able to intervene and she was able to deposit the money into her account.
Crypto scams have increased in volume in recent years as the prices of many assets, despite recent declines, have risen sharply from two years ago. Perodeau says the woman fell victim to ransomware that ended up causing all files on her computer to be encrypted and locked. They gave him a phone number that he thought was Microsoft support. He called the department for help without realizing that this was all part of the scam.
He was instructed over the phone to buy bitcoins through the machine and send the funds to “Microsoft”. Perodeau explained:
As soon as you provide the code, the money will disappear.
Bitcoin ATMs are becoming much more common. On the one hand this is not a bad thing as it contributes to the growing legitimacy and popular appeal of digital currencies, but it has also led to the resurgence of crypto crime as with so many ATMs it is much easier to scam people and steal your digital funds.
Seniors are often targets of these types of scams because they don’t realize the breadth of today’s new technology. They also tend to have limited knowledge of cryptocurrencies and digital finance.