A wave of cryptocurrency scams has Fairfax Co. Police on alert

Fairfax County Police are warning the community about a growing trend of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency scams.

“In almost a dozen reported cases since the end of October, our investigators have observed a trend in scams involving cryptocurrency,” the department stated in a press release. “Criminals are exploiting individuals, particularly the elderly, into depositing money into crypto ATMs and defrauding them of their money.”

Sgt. Jonathan Epperson, a Fairfax County public information officer, said the scam begins with the victim receiving a call from someone posing as a legitimate entity such as a business or even a government agency.

“What we’re seeing is they call our elderly community, and they’re scamming them into going to these Bitcoin, crypto ATM machines and having them deposit money,” he said.

Epperson said once the money is deposited, it’s being sent off and victims are losing thousands of dollars.

Police offer the following tips to protect yourself:

  • Verify the caller’s identity;
  • Be skeptical of unsolicited calls;
  • Remember law enforcement agencies will never call asking for money by phone;
  • Consult with family and friends;
  • Don’t share personal information; and
  • Don’t give anyone remote access to your computer.

“Never be afraid to hang up and call someone back. If someone is posing as Apple, Microsoft, Norton, you can easily just hang up the phone and call one of their 1-800 numbers from their legitimate website,” Epperson said.

Anyone who is a victim of this kind of crime should report it to police.

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