An increase of crypto-related crimes has forced the New York Police Department (NYPD) to bring onboard companies that operate crypto ATMs.
According to the announcement, police in New York will allow these companies to participate in their crypto related investigations. This follows the recent crypto scams in the area. The police explained:
“Victims are contacted by the ‘Social Security Administration’ and advised that their Social Security number has been used to open numerous accounts or is involved in some sort of drug trafficking or money laundering operation. To protect their money or to avoid being arrested, victims have to send various sums of money to help resolve the situation. The most common forms of payment requested are prepaid gift cards, Bitcoin and bank wire transfers.”
To combat all these activities, the NYPD want help from players in the industry. Police explained that they will be working with crypto ATM providers “regarding their electronic scam messaging and texts and placing NYPD Scam Alert Cards at stores where machines are located.”
Authorities further explained:
“In many of the cases, a person posing as a ‘Police Officer’ or ‘Law Enforcement Official’ will intimidate or threaten victims to gain compliance. Victims are told that they will be arrested and/or their assets will be frozen. Scammers have claimed to be NYPD, FBI, NYS Police, Texas PD, and LAPD.”
The most recent case happened in Berkeley, California. A man claiming to be Officer Neil Matthew, with the Berkeley Police Department, called a young woman, claiming that she was being investigated for drug trafficking and fraudulent activities. The man demanded she sends him Bitcoin Core (BTC) to avoid being arrested. The man called her with multiple numbers, some well concealed to look like a real police lines.
These tactics are used to exploit more from victims. Criminals are targeting people with little or no knowledge of cryptocurrencies. Authorities have asked members of the public to be more vigilant when instances like this happen to them. Victims should contact authorities or seek help from a person with enough knowledge about digital currencies. Authorities recommend contacting local police before making any payments.
In their announcement, the NYPD wrote to the public:
“Individuals will never be contacted by the NYPD, Social Security Administration or any Law Enforcement Agency and be asked to submit money or information over the phone. If contacted by anyone claiming to represent any such agency and asking for money, New Yorkers should immediately hang up the phone.”
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