BBB warns against cryptocurrency scams

VIDEO: BBB warns of cryptocurrency scams
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers against cryptocurrency scams.

Over the last few years, cryptocurrency has made waves around the country. And the BBB says scammers have taken advantage of its popularity.

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

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

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

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

“She asked me to donate $200 to get started so I could start making money on crypto. So, through my PayPal I pretty much spent $200,” said Holt.

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

“I asked her, ‘how do I withdraw this? How do I do that?’ And she said, ‘oh you have to pay $800.’ ‘Wait a minute, hold on. You didn’t tell me that I had to do that.’”

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

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

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

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

The average loss from cryptocurrency scams reported to the BBB was 1,200. All other scam types average $169.

BBB CT Director of Communications Kristen Johnson said, “these scams are happening all over.”

Johnson says one way to avoid falling victim is to do your research.

She said, “look for typos on websites. Type in… Do a search of the name of this investment company and the word scam and you will find out whether it is real or not.”

She says to be wary of friends who reach out on social media claiming to have made money with cryptocurrency.

“There are so many different cryptocurrencies out there. There’s always new ones coming up and so one of the common scams is get in on the ground floor and invest and then you never see your money,” said Johnson.

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