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Tyngsborough Police offer tips to avoid Bitcoin scams

By Staff | Mar 15, 2024

TYNGSBOROUGH, Mass. — Police Chief Richard Howe recently reported that the Tyngsborough Police Department is investigating an incident in which a resident was scammed out of thousands of dollars via a Bitcoin scam.

On March 6, police were contacted by an elderly resident who reportedly lost $5,000 after falling for a scam. An individual called the resident to inform them that their bank account was compromised and that the resident needed to withdraw all their funds and transfer them into Bitcoin for safety.

The resident, whose identity has not been released, went to a local store and deposited their cash into a Bitcoin ATM machine.

“It is extremely difficult to prosecute scams such as this or to recover funds lost to such scams, so we want to help educate the public and especially seniors about the various warning signs of scams to help protect them,” said Howe.

The Federal Trade Commission offers the following four signs to help people recognize possible scams:

-Scammers pretend to be from an organization you know. They might use a real name, like the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, or Medicare, or make up a name that sounds official. Some pretend to be from a business you know, like a utility company, a tech company or even a charity asking for donations.

-Scammers say there’s a problem or prize. They might say you’re in trouble with the government, that you owe money, that someone in your family had an emergency, or that there’s a virus on your computer. Some scammers say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information. Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.

-Scammers pressure you to act immediately. They might tell you not to hang up so you can’t check out their story. They might threaten to arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you. They might say your computer is about to be corrupted.

-Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way. They often insist that you pay by sending money through Bitcoin, a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back. Some will send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), tell you to deposit it and then send them the money.

The FTC also recommends that if you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy, or look up their phone number. Do not call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.

Residents who believe they may have fallen victim to such a scam or who believe they may be communicating with would-be scammers, are encouraged to contact the Tyngsborough Police at 978-649-7504.


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