Cryptocurrency Scams

Frequent Cryptocurrency Scams 

This list is not meant to be comprehensive.  Scammers are very good at what they do and make changes to the scams frequently to avoid detection. 

A few types of Cryptocurrency (also called Crypto):  Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Monero, Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano, Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, NEO, Avalanche, EOS.IO 

Police Scam: You receive a phone call from the number 860-747-1616 (Plainville Police).  The officer/detective tells you that you’re being investigated for embezzlement, your accounts are frozen, that someone is impersonating you to commit crimes or similar issue. The only way to keep your money safe is to convert it to cryptocurrency and send the code (private key/wallet) to the officer.   

Reality: The police/government/IRS will never ask you to send them cryptocurrency, gift cards or similar. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be the police, get their name and case number.  Call them back at a known number for the department from an official source (such as their official website). 


Investment Scam/Business Opportunity: You’re befriended by someone or visit a website that appears legitimate promising large returns on cryptocurrency.  You invest and transfer the cryptocurrency to the person.  You login to their website or app and see large returns.  

Reality: Eventually the website will disappear with your money.  If you try to withdraw your money, there will always be an excuse on why you can’t or an error on the withdrawal (it never ends up back in your account). Some scammers will even have you pay them more money (a fee) to withdrawal your money.  Your money still never arrives. 


Blackmail/Extortion Scam: You receive an email/phone call, etc. that you have been hacked.  They know you were looking at something inappropriate (such as pornography) or were recorded in a video engaging in a lewd/pornographic act.  They threaten to share/tell all your friends and family members.  Your password may even be included in the email subject line.  If you don’t send them cryptocurrency, they will share everything right away. 

Reality: They likely did not hack you at all and just obtained your password from the dark web in a previous cyberattack/leak.  Most of these are automated and they have no access to your computers.  There is a variation where they convince you to record an inappropriate video and send it to them.  DO NOT send them money.  Shut down all your online presence (social media, etc) so they have no one to send it to.  Contact police if you sent an inappropriate video and need help protecting yourself. 


Fake job listings Scam:  You apply for a job in the crypto field and they require you to make a crypto payment before accepting the job. They may also send you money to your bank and request money returned to them. 

Reality: The job is not real.  You send them the crypto and never see a penny back.  Whatever money appears to have cleared in your bank account will disappear several days/weeks later.  By then you already sent them the money, so it’s too late.  


Phishing Scams: You will receive an email or go to a website that looks legitimate asking you to login to your real crypto account. 

Reality: This is a scam to steal your login information/private key/wallet.  NEVER click a link in an email EVER.  Always open a new browser window and go to the official website.  The same goes for receiving phone calls from your bank.  Always hang up and call the known number for your bank (on the back of your card or from their official website).  It is very easy to make the phone number on caller ID appear to be something it is not.   


Romance Scams/Loved ones Scam: You receive a friend request on social media from a beautiful person.  In fact, you may have come across their profile and sent the request yourself.  They engage you in conversation and you fall in love.  They’re perfect. They have a sob story about how they were hurt in a car accident, have a loved one who is sick, or otherwise need money right away.  You start by sending them small sums of money/cryptocurrency.  Before you know it, you have no money left.  Now they ask you to max out all your credit cards. You also may receive a phone call/message from someone claiming to be your relative asking for help. 

Reality: The person is not who they say they are.  Scammers easily create false social media accounts that sometimes look very real.  Sometimes, they even take over or re-create a real person’s social media account and impersonate them.  NEVER send money to anyone over the internet that you do not personally know in person.  With AI (Artificial Intelligence), scammers can even re-create someone’s voice and image.  That’s right, you could receive a phone call that appears in your Caller ID as their real number and you hear what sounds like their actual voice asking for money, to bail them out of jail, etc!  Always hang up and call back the person on their actual known phone number.  Ask other family members too. 


Eversource/Amazon scam: You receive a message/phone call from Eversource, Amazon, Microsoft or a similar well-known company.  They say they will be turning off your power or that they charged you money by mistake.  The only way to fix the issue is to send them crypto.  They may also say your password was compromised and that they need information from you to reset it (sometimes they ask for your password and sometimes they ask for the code associated with your two factor/multi-factor authentication). 

Reality: Scammers frequently impersonate well known companies in order to establish credibility to their scam.  Eversource will never ask for cryptocurrency to turn off your power.  A company will never ask you to pay them money/crypto because they accidentally charged you.  Never provide your personal/banking information to anyone. Additionally, a company will never ask you to provide them your password, ever. 


If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!