Bitcoin Depot has stopped fraudsters that use many different scams to steal, and new routines are used daily. If you’ve been asked to pay bitcoin by surprise, it may be fraudulent and we can help if you call us. If you’re asked to hurry, if you’re told to use a Bitcoin ATM machine instead of an online exchange, or if you’re just not familiar with bitcoin, please postpone your purchase and call our customer service at (678) 435-9604. Here are five types of scams we’ve seen fraudsters use:
Fake AirBNB or Fake EasyRoommate: Scammers created EZRoommate.com as a fraudulent version of the legitimate site EasyRoommate.com. Scammers have also created fraudulent AirBNB listings. If you’re asked to pay in bitcoin for lodging on these or similar sites, please be careful – stop and give us a call.
Vehicle purchase online: Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist are all legitimate buy-or-sell sites where vehicles are sold. However, fraudsters have been able to create fake listings on each site with cars they don’t have. If you’re asked to pay in bitcoin for an online vehicle purchase, that should be a big concern.
Offerup: Offerup is a local buy/sell site like Craigslist with many legitimate postings. Scammers make fake posts though and may request payment in bitcoin. Protect yourself with standard online-to-real-life precautions like public meeting places and bringing friends, but also be careful to either avoid Offerup bitcoin purchases, or at least make certain they’re legitimate. We’re here to help if you’d like.
Online dating scams: One online dating risk is fraudsters pretending to start relationships with actual online daters, also called “sweetheart scams”. Look for red flags like moving too quickly, asking for money and asking for real-life favors. Fraudsters may ask for ticket money for traveling to meet the victim. The U.S. FBI discusses the scam: https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/news-podcasts-inside-sweetheart-scams.mp3/view. If an online romance interest asks for money in bitcoin, please be careful and postpone the transaction. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center is here: www.ic3.gov. Or just call us, and we’ll be happy to help.
Fake check scams: Fake checks are more a method of execution than a scam type – they can be involved in any of the above, or others. Victim receives a fraudulent check and deposits it. The scammer asks victim to send funds somewhere and when the check bounces the victim has lost their money. If you’ve been asked to send bitcoin, perhaps surprisingly, by someone who’s just sent you a check, stop the transaction and give us a call – it’s likely a scam and we can help stop and report the incident.