The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents of cryptocurrency scams.
The agency indicated that victims have reported a more than $7.7 million loss due to cryptocurrency-related crimes in the region since January 2021.
Authorities warn residents that if they see a text, email, tweet or other social media message telling them to pay with cryptocurrency, “that is a scam.”
The fraud and cyber crimes bureau of the department shared the following tips with the public to avoid becoming a victim.
Scammers use the following tactics to trick people into buying and sending cryptocurrency:
- An “investment manager” of a well-known company is contacting you.
- An online “love interest” wants to you to send money or cryptocurrency to invest.
- Someone posing as a celebrity encouraging you to click on a link or a QR code.
- A new or established business offering fraudulent crypto coins or tokens.
- Someone impersonating government agencies, law enforcement or utility companies.
- Listing fake jobs on job websites.
To avoid business, government and job impersonators, understand the following:
- No legitimate business or government will email, text or message you on social media to ask for money or ask that you pay with cryptocurrency.
- You should never click on an unexpected text, email or social media message.
- You should never pay anyone who contacts you unexpectedly asking for payment with cryptocurrency.
- You should never pay a fee in cryptocurrency to get a job.
Authorities advise anyone who may have been victimized by this kind of scheme to report it to their local sheriff’s station or police department and file a complaint with the FBI’s internet crime complaint center.
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