RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) wants to remind residents to be on the lookout for cryptocurrency scams this year.
According to AARP, the Federal Trade Commission reported an increase in fraud using crypto investment schemes in 2022, resulting in losses of more than $1 billion.
Crypto is a financial investment system that is not regulated by the United States government, and experts believe that it is very difficult to get your money back because it is almost impossible to trace. AARP’s Trudy Marotta said encryption isn’t regulated by any agency that normally protects your money.
“If you don’t get it, stay away,” Marotta said.
Schemes using cryptocurrency as payment are on the rise, and Morotta has seen it firsthand. She said a friend of hers in Arlington lost $25,000 after she fell for such a scam.
“It’s terrible. It’s a very horrible feeling and you feel like, you know, “how could this happen to me?” How could I have been so stupid, so stupid, to fall for that?”’ Marotta said. “But it happens to millions of people every day.”
In the scam, criminals convince victims that there is some urgent matter that requires quick payment. You may see a pop-up window on your computer telling you that your computer has a virus and that you need to give up control of the device. If you click on the link, it may connect you to a scammer. Criminals will convince victims to go to the nearest crypto ATM to convert cash into electronic currency.
This can happen on social networking sites like Facebook and Linked In. This can also happen on dating sites and apps.
Marotta told 8News the best way to stop this scam is to notice the warning signs and not put a dollar in a cyber currency machine.
If you are the victim of a crypto scam, you should call your local police department and the FBI, and contact your bank and credit card companies.
Visit AARP Fraud Surveillance Network for more information on how to avoid similar scams.