CONNECTICUT — Connecticut State Police Tuesday sent out a warning about scams involving cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is a form of virtual currency that provides users some degree of anonymity and, as it grows in popularity, so do cryptocurrency scams, state police said. The most common scams often begin with a strange text message, phone call, or email, they added.
Scammers will often lure victims to cryptocurrency ATMs or web-based investment sites or exchange platforms, where it is relatively easy to convert U.S. dollars into cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana, state police said.
Victims are often led to believe that their bank accounts or investments are under attack. The victims are then prompted to convert those assets to cryptocurrency and send them to a “secure” account, which is controlled by the scammer, state police said.
Scammers may also tempt victims with a “get rich quick” scheme, enticing them to invest in a new cryptocurrency coin, which is ultimately a fake investment, state police said.
Here are some red flags to look out for, according to state police:
- No legitimate bank, business, or government agency will direct a person to withdraw money from a bank account.
- If a third party is sending someone to a cryptocurrency ATM, it is almost certainly a scam.
- Be aware of text messages from unknown numbers that appear to be making an attempt to gain familiarity with an individual or business. The texts often begin with something low threat such as, “Hi friend” or “Didn’t we meet last week?”
- No legitimate entity will ever cryptocurrency owners for private keys or account passwords. Never share those items.
- Those who decide to invest in new cryptocurrency coins should always check to see if they are listed on a trusted, major exchange and research the “initial coin offering” paper. Never trust coin endorsements on social media, through email, or any source promising unrealistic profits.
“If you believe that you have been scammed or are currently being scammed, report it immediately to your local police department or State Police troop,” authorities said. “police can investigate and possibly recover stolen funds. Earlier this month, CSP was able to recover stolen Bitcoin on behalf of a resident who fell victim to an ATM scam. Scammers are looking to cash out quick, so the sooner you report an incident, the better the chances of making a recovery.”