BBB warns against cryptocurrency scams

HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​is warning consumers about cryptocurrency scams.

Over the past few years, cryptocurrency has been making waves across the country. And the BBB claims that scammers have taken advantage of its popularity.

Cryptocurrency scams tripled from 2019 to 2022, making it the second riskiest scam last year.

People right here in Connecticut have lost thousands of dollars to cryptocurrency scams.

Benjamin Holt says someone contacted him on social media. They asked him if he was interested in cryptocurrency.

When he said yes, the person directed him to a website.

“She asked me to donate $200 to start so I can start making money from crypto. So through my PayPal, I spent about $200,” Holt said.

He says he was told $200 would turn into $5,000 in just five hours.

“I asked him, ‘How do I pull this off? How do I do this?’ And she said, ‘oh you have to pay $800.’ “Wait a minute, wait. You didn’t tell me I had to do this.

Holt says that’s when he realized it was a scam.

“I got out as soon as possible. I told the woman you’re scamming me, I’m canceling my credit card. I went out and reported it to the BBB and then of course here I am,” Holt said.

The Better Business Bureau says cryptocurrency scams have tripled in the past three years.

In 2021, the BBB received over 2,000 complaints, with losses totaling $8 million.

The average loss of cryptocurrency scams reported to the BBB was 1,200. All other types of scams cost an average of $169.

BBB CT Communications Director Kristen Johnson said, “These scams are happening everywhere.”

Johnson says one way to avoid being a victim is to do some research.

She said: “Check websites for typos. Type… Do a search on the name of that investment company and the word scam and you will know if it is real or not.

She says she is wary of friends who take to social media claiming to have made money from cryptocurrency.

“There are so many different cryptocurrencies out there. There are always new ones and so one of the common scams is going downstairs and investing and then you never see your money,” Johnson said. .

If you are the victim of a cryptocurrency scam, you should report it to the BBB.

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