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Scams telling you to pay with Bitcoin on the rise

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At first, scammers tried to get you to wire them money. Then, they demanded payment with gift cards. Now, scammers are luring people into paying them with Bitcoin – a type of digital money or cryptocurrency. Read on to learn how to spot and avoid some of the top ways scammers are trying to get you to pay with Bitcoin.

1. Blackmail Scam. Someone says they know about an alleged affair, or something else embarrassing to you, and demands payments with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency in exchange for keeping quiet. This scammers might use threats, intimidation, and high-pressure tactics to get you to pay right away. But, as we wrote in this blog post, that’s not only a scam, but also a criminal extortion attempt. Report it to the local police, the FBI, and the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

2. Online Chain Referral Schemes. This type of scam works like a chain letter: someone promises that you’ll make money if you pay into the scheme. But, in a twist, these scammers say you have to use cryptocurrency to pay for the right to recruit other people into the chain…so that you’ll then be rewarded with more cryptocurrency. Except you won’t. Instead, you’re guaranteed to lose money.

3. Bogus Investment and Business Opportunities. Someone might offer you investment and business opportunities that promise to make you big money, or give you financial freedom. But remember, only a scammer will guarantee that you will make money — in dollars or in cryptocurrency.

For more tips on avoiding scams, check out 10 Things You Can Do To Avoid Fraud. Spot a cryptocurrency scam? Tell us at ftc.gov/complaint.

Comments

Unfortunately the only way that we can protect ourselves and our families is to take one short step at a time and follow it up with the next nail in the "Scammers" coffin. Don't let them get away with it!

one scammer put one of my passwords in the subject threatening to send everyone of my contacts allegedly sordid information. fortunately the password was for a newspaper on line account which I didn't use for anything else. one good reason to NOT the same password for multiple accounts

I received a call today and they left a message and said "your account will be charged $499.95 unless you call and cancel." They left a number so I was concerned it was my credit card account or bank account so I called the nr. 219-247-1189 -- someone answered but did not talk. I hung up and called again and the same thing happened and then I thought, is this a scam? I googled the nr. and sure enough it is a computer service scam. Hope I did not do wrong by phoning the company.

Any time I call a number like that, I dial *67, first. That keeps them from seeing your number.

I was a target of the Blackmail Scam, also my computer crashed. I was getting emails to send bitcoins in payment or else they would post something to embarrass me on YouTube.

I have received two almost identical blackmail letters, demanding bitcoin payment. The English was almost perfect; just a couple of things seemed a foreign source. I turned 1st letter in to the FBI, who said to report it to FTC, who said I should report it to FCC. At that point, I gave up.

I was received a spam email from these criminals as they claimed they recorded me on some inappropriate website and installed a computer virus when I never done any of that garbage. I never responded to them or sent them money. Instead, I reported them to the FTC.

Has anyone been contacted by Henry Fadhlan? he had "aunt" send me a check & wants me to get bitcoins--any advice is appreciated. Currently he is on a ship over by Japan, he was raised in Germany but mother is American--thanks--unsure if this is legal.

That could be a scam. Some scammers make up a stories and trick people into handling bad checks.

The scammer sends the person a check and tells her to deposit the check in her bank account, and withdraw the amount in cash. The scammer tells her to take the cash, buy bitcoins, and send them to him.

Banks must give you some money within one day after you deposit a check, but that doesn't prove the check is good. It can take weeks for the bank to find out that the check was no good. By the time the bank finds out the check is no good, the scammer has gotten the bitcoin, and you have to repay the bank all the money you withdrew.

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