AARP Fraud Watch: Red flags of cryptocurrency

(WHTM) — Executives and celebrities have fallen for crypto scams, but you do not have to.

AARP says this is how it works. You get a message on social media from someone claiming to be a celebrity or a billionaire investor, and they promise to multiply your investment in their favorite crypto coin.

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You may hear rumors circulating that a famous mogul is backing a specific cryptocurrency that you must buy immediately.

A new, online friend or love interest claims they have a crypto opportunity for you to invest in, or someone guides you to a cryptocurrency ATM in your neighborhood, and then gives you a QR code that you scan to open a digital wallet, where you deposit the money.

Here is what you should know:

  • A common type of investment scam called a pump and dump, lures investors to buy into an investment quickly, to drive up the price. Then scammers sell off their stake, causing the value of the currency to plummet.
  • Beware of phony cryptocurrency websites featuring fake testimonials
  • Criminals are also online romance scams to lure victims into crypto schemes.
  • Victims of all types of scams are being told to go to neighborhood crypto ATMs in order to send money for fake emergencies.

Here is what you should do:

  • Resist pressure to buy right now
  • Research any virtual currency platform or digital wallet provider
  • If someone tries to convince you to pay a debt or make an investment using a cryptocurrency ATM, prepaid gift card, or wire transfer, it’s likely a scam.

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