Bearing the worldwide surge in cryptocurrency frauds in mind that more often than not are perpetrated via phone calls, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has issued a public warning urging the people of New York to be cautious. The alert includes a detailed explanation of the scammers’ modus operandi, a video for public awareness and a few valuable tips for the general public to avert falling into the trap.
The Fraudsters’ Stroke of Genius
According to the NYPD, cryptocurrency crimes and social security scams have already beguiled 200 people in 2019 stealing more than $2 million in the process. As was seen in the case of Singapore earlier this week, cons have a new way of utilizing the general distrust around cryptocurrencies to their advantage. People of all ages have been targeted by these fraudsters who are posing as government officials because who would doubt the government after all?
The NYPD Warning
The NYPD while requesting to beware of any suspicious calls from “seeming” government agencies, has asked the public to be especially cautious in case an official calls from the Social Security Administration and tells them about their social security number being involved in a crime while asking for payment in Bitcoin, bank transfers or prepaid gift vouchers.
Moreover, given the day and age, even criminals are using high-tech tools, like “spoofing,” which lets them use real caller IDs and contact numbers of government officials, to achieve their ends.
Steps Taken to Ensure Awareness and Security
The NYPD is leaving no stones unturned in ensuring the security and awareness of the populace. They are issuing “Scam Alert” cards to keep the public as well as retail store owners up to date about the scams, educating people on social media and community events with the help of demo tapes of Social Security Administration robo-calls, and collaborating with Bitcoin ATM services to ensure their security.
In the alert, Chief of Community Affairs, NYPD, Nilda Hofmann said:
“The NYPD is committed to working closely with our partners in the financial industries and will not rest until we bring those responsible for these crimes accountable. If you even suspect a call to be fraudulent, don’t take a chance, just hang up.”