FBI Warns of Scams Using Crypto ATMs and QR Codes
Updated: May 5
Originally publish in CoinDesk, Nov. 5, 2021
We encourage you to share this information with your staff and if they see something that may indicate a consumer is using the Bitcoin ATM in your store under duress, to contact authorities.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning there has been a rise in fraudulent schemes using cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATM) and quick response (QR) codes to facilitate payments.
Here's how this scheme works:
The FBI said it has seen an increase in scammers directing victims to use physical crypto ATMs and QR codes to complete payment transactions.
Scammers will request payment from the victim and then direct the victim to withdraw money from the victim’s financial accounts, such as investment or retirement accounts.
The FBI warns they will also provide a QR code associated with the scammer’s cryptocurrency wallet for the victim to use during the transaction.
The scammer will then direct the victim to a physical cryptocurrency ATM to insert their money, purchase cryptocurrency and use the provided QR code to auto-populate the recipient address. Often the scammer is in constant online communication with the victim and provides step-by-step instructions until the payment is completed, said the FBI.
“It is important to remain vigilant and not make payments to someone you have only spoken to online, even if you believe you have a relationship with the individual,” advised the FBI.