Remarkably Basic Scam Nets Criminals $2 Million in Bitcoin and Other Assets

According to the New York Police Department, the number of people duped out of Bitcoin and other assets thanks to a telephone scam has soared in 2019. It estimates that a massive $2 million has been fraudulently obtained from residents of the city.

The scam responsible apparently involves a cold call from either a real person or AI operator claiming to be from social services. It is a wonder that the scam has been so successful, given how basic it is and the fact that payment is asked for in crypto!

New Day, New Bitcoin Scam

An article published by The Next Web states that the New York Police Department has been inundated by reports of people being defrauded out of money by a rather simplistic telephone scam in which scammers request Bitcoin, online gift cards, and other non-conventional payment methods after claiming to be from the social services.

The NYPD published a video warning citizens about the telephone scam:

According to the law enforcement authority, the scam involves the victim receiving a phone call, apparently from Social Security Administration officials. By spoofing the organisation, police, or some other government agency’s caller ID, the scammers make the call seem more legitimate.

They go on to tell the victim that their Social Security Number has been suspended for some reason or that it has been involved in some serious criminal case – such as international drug trafficking. Alternate versions of the same scam reportedly tell victims that their bank account has been frozen or seized, or that there is a warrant out for their  arrest.

The call then is often transferred to a supposed high-ranking police official who attempts to scare the victim with threats that the only way to rectify the situation is to send them Bitcoin, buy Apple or Google Play gift vouchers, or to FedEx them physical cash. This is, of course, a massive red flag and it is hard to believe that anyone has believed that the Social Security Administration’s preferred means of…

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