Scammers pose to be government or lottery officials and promise people big prizes in exchange for cryptocurrency, cash, or personal information.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have been an easy way for investments and transitions in day-to-day life. There are numerous possibilities and ways for investors to make a big profit, but only if they play smart because cryptocurrency is creeping into everyday imposter scams, with crooks pretending to be government or lottery officials and demanding payments in bitcoin for supposed debt.
In 2021, more than 148,000 reports were received, 27 percent more than the previous year, that involved fraud like prizes, lotteries, and sweepstakes. According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC), these scams swindled the unwary out of $255 million.
The Federal Trade Commission(FTC) has nearly got 1.3 million reports about government imposters making it far more than any other type of fraud reported in the same timeframe. The vast majority of people who reported this type of scam said it all started with a phone call.
According to Cyber-Forensics.Net, a bitcoin recovery company, "Though investors are making the most out of cryptocurrencies like bitcoins and making good profit by investing in the right scheme, there are scammers who want to get rich by taking money from innocent investors. These scammers put their best game on the line to win the investors' trust by promising them big returns."
Government Impersonator Scams:
The scammers pretend to be calling from the government agencies; if an individual denies paying or providing personal information, the scammer says that something bad may happen or an individual may miss out on some government benefits.
Such scams often start with a call, text, or email from someone who identifies themselves as a government agent. These scammers target a victim will full planning; they provide all the documents like "employee ID" to sound official.
The scammers even try to contact people by saying they won a lottery or prize like a new phone, car, or something else. But to receive these prizes, the scammer asks first to pay a certain amount or give them their personal or financial information to get the prize.
Everyone dreams of winning free Money and big prizes; that is why scammers still use the promise of a prize to get victims' Money or personal information.
How To Recognize A Government Impersonator?
Timothy Benson, one of the bitcoin recovery agents at Cyber-Forensics.Net, says, “Legitimate organizations and government officials never call, email, or send text messages to individuals asking for their personal and financial information or make them pay through cryptocurrency. If someone receives such messages or calls, it is better to delete or ignore them.”
- Asking for payment on behalf of government: Scammers often ask someone to pay through cryptocurrency like bitcoin because it is hard to track that money.
- Valid Caller ID: Do not trust someone on the phone because the number appeared as the government agency's real phone number; caller ID can be faked. It can be anyone.
- Unknown links in emails or text: Scammers also send emails or text messages consisting of links that look like they are from a government agency, but once someone clicks on them, they may lose their money or personal information.
- Not asking for financial information: In a valid lottery or sweepstakes, they never ask someone to submit their bank account details or credit card number to claim any prize.
- Things Government won’t ask for: A legitimate government agency will never make an unsolicited call to an individual and ask for personal information. A legit government does not accept wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or gift cards when payments need to be made.
- Fake Government grants: Scammers contact people and tell them they have been selected to receive a government grant. But to receive them, the scammer says a “processing fee” needs to be paid. If an individual receives such calls, it is better to hang up because no government grant-making agency will make phone calls, send text messages, or emails and ask for money or personal information.
How To Avoid Such Impersonator Scams?
If someone gets a phone call, email, or text out of the blue saying that they have won a prize or their phone number got shortlisted for a certain government benefit. But to receive the prize, they have to make a payment or provide personal information like bank account details or credit card number is always a red flag. In this situation, the best thing to do is to hang up the call or delete the messages.
Things to remember:
- Never send money to an unknown person.
- Never give personal or financial information to a caller.
- Be suspicious if an unknown person is calling and asking for money.
- Never open unknown links sent through emails.
- Be cautious about opening any attachments or downloading any files from emails.
Where To Report Such Impersonator Scams?
If an individual spots a scam like a government or a lottery impersonator, they can report it to:
- The Federal Trade Commission(FTC).
- Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC).
- Inform friends and family who could be helpful in this matter.
One can also hire a bitcoin recovery company like Cyber-Forensics.Net, which will help recover the lost funds from such imposter scammers. They are a team of professionals who have worked in this field for a long time and has good knowledge and experience when it comes to dealing with such scammers.
Cyber-Forensics.Net is committed to providing the most accurate tracing service for victims of online scams. Cyber-Forensics.Net empowers and simplifies the process of tracking down the cyber-criminals and assists in recovering the funds and creating an atmosphere for a negotiated settlement. For more information, please visit http://cyber-forensics.net/.