FBI Warns of Growth in Crypto ATM and QR Code Fraud

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The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned the public about the increasing cases of theft of digital assets using cryptomats and QR codes.

According to
message FBI, there has recently been a significant increase in the number of scammers encouraging victims to use cryptomats and QR codes to make payments. A person can scan the QR code of the prospective recipient of money to automatically fill in the field with his data, which makes it easier to send cryptocurrencies. Due to the pandemic, many companies began to use this method of payments and payments, which is what cybercriminals use.

When communicating with victims, scammers impersonate their acquaintance, law enforcement agencies or utilities. Often users of dating sites or lovers of lotteries are caught on the “hook” of scammers – the attackers convince them that they have won a large prize, but in order to get it, it is necessary to pay “lottery fees”. Scammers are usually in constant contact with the victim, guiding them step by step before completing the payment.

Criminals provide victims with a QR code associated with their cryptocurrency wallet for a person to use during a transaction. They then direct the user to a cryptomat, ask them to buy cryptocurrencies and use the provided QR code to automatically fill in the recipient’s address. In fact, cryptocurrencies are sent to the address of the scammers, and not to the organization or friend with whom the deceived person allegedly communicated.

“Payments in cryptocurrencies are different from traditional bank transfers, which can take several days. The decentralized nature of cryptoassets makes it difficult for law enforcement to recover funds. Having received cryptocurrencies, the fraudster instantly becomes their owner and transfers them to an account abroad, ”the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

The FBI has urged the public to be careful not to send cryptocurrencies or regular money to people they meet online. You should not communicate with a “representative” of any company requesting personal information – it is better to contact this organization directly through its official communication channels. In addition, the FBI recommends that you do not follow any instructions for scanning a QR code to send funds through ATMs. According to the FBI, many ATMs do not comply with US federal laws and can be used for money laundering.

In April, the FBI reported that in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of phishing attacks to steal digital assets increased 20 times compared to 2018.

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