A 77-year-old woman lost more than $12,000 in a scam involving the Bitcoin
The Chicago Tribune has reported that a 77-year-old Indiana woman living in Chesterton has been scammed of more than $12,000, adding her name to the list of the latest victims of the cryptocurrency-related scam, especially Bitcoin.
An elderly woman just lost over $12,000 to a Bitcoin scam
Last June, she received an email June, purporting to warn her of fraudulent activity on her PayPal account. The email said almost $500 had been withdrawn from the account and that she would need to call a phone number to fix the problem.
Then, the poor woman made a phone call. On the other end of the line, the male voice with a foreign accent instructed her to purchase $3,500 in Bitcoin through Coinbase, a popular platform for such transactions. The man told the woman he could guide her through the complicated process by accessing her smartphone through a screen-sharing technique. He also could help her return the lost PayPal money by accessing her checking account from her local bank
Still don’t understand why this troubleshooting call resulted in the purchase of $3,500 BTC but perhaps the scammer was too professional, said something that made this woman gullible. He also asked if he could access her checking account to help recover the lost PayPal money. The woman agreed to all of the man’s requests and even provided the man with an identification photo of herself
This is a word of caution to everyone, do not trust anyone too much and NEVER give out any personal information to others.
As a result, the woman realized that six withdrawals, $8,800 had gone from her account. In addition to the $3,500 used to buy Bitcoin, the woman lost more than $12,000 to the scammer. Scams like this happen frequently, with victims often being elderly. Many victims are too embarrassed to report their crimes to law enforcement.
“It does seem that at a certain age, too many people can be susceptible to these types of scams,” Chesterton police Sgt. Dave Virijevich commented. “These types of criminals prey on the genuine goodness of people. They’re preying on their trusting nature.”
If victims didn’t get tricked into sharing their personal information, these scamming calls and emails would be simply annoying, not criminal, said Chesterton police Sgt. Dave Virijevich
They suggested that perhaps this woman had never heard of Bitcoin until she was asked to buy the untraceable, untraceable currency. And they are committing this crime from non-extradition countries, which means these criminals will probably never be caught. Scammers — often from other countries — use special caller ID apps that make their number look like the number of a reputable organization.
“It’s really not from the U.S. Department of Treasury or the IRS, but it looks like it is,” Virijevich said. “A lot of older people aren’t even aware that these apps exist. They don’t think twice about its legitimacy.”
For example, the phone number used for this Bitcoin scam is prefixed with 202, which indicates that it is from Washington, D.C.
“It was bogus from the start. But victims think it’s legit, and they need to comply with what they’re told,” Virijevich said. “They’re worried about having a warrant out for their arrest or whatever the scam may be. They’re frightened that U.S. marshals will come to arrest them. It’s a crying shame.”
These criminals are psychological manipulators very good at what they do, sadly to say. They are randomly dialing thousands of people’s phone numbers. If only a few people fall for scams, they are very beneficial. And if they lived somewhere with a higher dollar value, this woman’s $12,000 loss here could equate to a $30,000 to $40,000 gain there.
The Chesterton woman was able to get reimbursed $2,000 by her bank. She closed those accounts, bought a new cell phone, and contacted the U.S. Social Security Administration and three credit bureaus to notify them of the crime.
Again, be wary when dealing with anyone on the Internet. You could be the victim of a scam without your knowledge.
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