Sophisticated scammers are adept at adapting the latest technologies and using them for purposes of scams.  A wide variety of scams involve the scammer convincing the victim to send money to the scammer under a wide variety of pretenses including romance scams and scams where the scammer poses as a legitimate company or financial institution with which you do business.  Often scammers will require the funds be sent to them by a wire transfer or in the form of gift cards because with both of these methods of payment, it is impossible to stop the payment or determine the true identity of the person receiving the payment.  Now there is a new way that scammers are requiring payments be made – through cryptocurrency ATMs.  The victim of the scam is told to put cash into a cryptocurrency ATM and send the cryptocurrency coins exchanged for the cash to the the criminal using an address stored in a QR code.  The victim scans the QR code into the cryptocurrency ATM which will then send the cryptocurrencies to the criminal.  It is easy to see why criminals would prefer this method of payment even over wiring funds or gift cards because many banks and other institutions that wire funds or sell gift cards now inquire when a wiring is being done or gift cards purchased as to the reason for the wiring of funds or the purchase of the gift cards and are often trained to recognize scams.


Regular readers of Scamicide will recognize many scams, but the smartest person can be scammed.  No one is immune from being scammed.  Among the red flags of a scam are when for whatever reason you are asked to make a payment by wiring funds or gift cards and now we can add whenever you are asked to pay by cryptocurrencies.  Whenever you are asked to make a payment through one of these methods, you should first carefully consider how the particular transaction could be a scam.  Scammers often try to trick people into acting quickly before their victims have the time to consider whether the transaction is a scam by making them think that there is an emergency that requires immediate action.  You can avoid many scams by being more deliberate whenever you are asked to send a payment to anyone.

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