Beware of cryptocurrency scams
Cryptocurrency, or crypto, is digital currency you get through an online exchange or at a cryptocurrency ATM. Bitcoin is the most well-known, but there are many others. Scammers prefer these because they aren’t well-regulated, they’re hard to trace, and payments usually can’t be reversed. They also are counting on what you don’t understand about it.
Scammers may call, pretending to be from a government agency, your bank, or a sweepstakes company, and say you need to pay a fine, taxes, or fees. Or maybe your online love interest needs you to send money for a medical procedure or other expense. They’ll direct you to your bank and the nearest cryptocurrency ATM and tell you exactly how to send the money to them. Sometimes, they’ll stay on the phone with you the entire time.
Beware of any text, email, or message on social media that tells you to pay for anything with Bitcoin – even if there is a guarantee that you’ll make money, win a prize, or have your money returned to you. This is all a scam. Every time.
Finally, if you want to buy crypto for yourself, take time to learn about how it works and use a reputable exchange service, not a cryptocurrency ATM that will charge you a fee of up to 20 percent.
Ray Wills is security officer at F&M Trust.
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