Cyber experts at Northumbria Police have issued a warning over a crypto currency scam which has seen victims lose thousands of pounds.
The scam sees fraudsters target victims, predominantly the elderly, over the phone and online, asking them if they would like to buy Bitcoin or other virtual currencies. Once the victim agrees and transfers their money, they are repeatedly told their investment has been successful and then pressured to purchase more crypto currency. When victims ask to withdraw their investment they’re duped once again into paying ‘taxes’ and given a specific date for their funds to be transferred but are left panic-stricken when the money never arrives.
Detective Sergeant Peter Booth from Northumbria Police's Cyber team has urged people to be vigilant when approached by anyone claiming to sell crypto currency.
He said: “Over the past week or so we have seen a number of reports of elderly people being scammed into buying crypto currency across the North East. The financial loss these victims are facing at the hands of these devious scammers is high and has devastating consequences for the victims.
“This seems to be a relatively new and fast moving scam so we would urge families to make sure their elderly relatives are aware, and ask everyone to exercise caution when thinking about buying and kind of currency online.
“Remember, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. We would encourage anyone who thinks they have been a victim of a scam like this to come forward and tell us, or report it to Action Fraud. Please do not be embarrassed, these scams can be very convincing and appear legitimate to even the most web-savvy user.”
If you have any concerns, or think you might have been a victim of fraud, please visit:
Alternatively, you can seek advice from us by visiting: https://www.getsafeonline.org/northumbria/