There’s a new cryptocurrency scam to watch out for, the Federal Trade Commission warned this week.
The scam is a “new spin” that involves an impersonator, a QR code, and a trip to a store to send money through a cryptocurrency ATM, according to a release posted by the FTC. The scammers are mostly posing as the government, law enforcement, prize promoters, or local utility companies.
“Here’s the main thing to know: 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,” said Cristina Miranda with the FTC’s division of consumer and business education in the statement.
The FTC’s warning comes amid a sharp rise in cryptocurrency crimes. In 2021 alone, scammers took $14 billion worth of crypto, according to a recent report from blockchain data firm Chainalysis. That’s nearly twice the $7.8 billion taken by scammers in 2020, the report shows.
How Investors Can Protect Their Crypto
If you’ve incorporated crypto into your investment portfolio or are interested in investing in Bitcoin or Ethereum in the future, here are some steps you can take to protect your crypto: