Consumer Voice: Cryptocurrency scammers prey on seniors | Crime and Justice

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KKTV 11 News teams up once again with AARP ElderWatch Colorado and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office to bring you “Fraud Friday.”

You may have seen the weekly segment on 11 News at midday on Fridays. Every week I check in with the experts to find out what scams are going around and how to protect yourself from falling victim. This time we focus on cryptocurrency scams.

“The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said cryptocurrency is one of the most common payment methods scammers are asking for right now, and we’re hearing exactly the same thing as part of the ElderWatch helpline from Coloradans across the state,” said Mark Fetterhoff, AARP ElderWatch.

AARP ElderWatch handles consumer complaints as part of the attorney general’s statewide consumer helpline, which you can reach by calling 800-222-4444. Press option 2 to talk to AARP. One of the biggest complaints the helpline has received recently is digital currency fraud. If you transfer money through cryptocurrency, it is almost impossible to get it back.

“It’s a lot like gift cards and money orders — once the money’s gone, (it’s) gone,” Fetterhoff said. “I think it’s really important to know that one of the most common scams we see in this cryptocurrency fad is when scammers pretend to be experts in cryptocurrency or bitcoin and they might approach you on a site like Facebook and Instagram saying they are experts in the field and can help you invest money, this is a red flag for a scam.

“I would definitely recommend not taking advice from a stranger on social media.”

Only scammers will demand payment through cryptocurrency. Legitimate businesses and agencies will not ask you to pay a bill that way. The FTC also said you shouldn’t trust people who promise they can make you money quickly and easily. Scammers will also promise that they can get you free money.

“Just remember that it’s a red flag if someone asks you to pay with bitcoin or cryptocurrency,” Fetterhoff said. “If you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t understand how to pay, just disconnect with the person and in the end you won’t lose money.”

You can report scams and fraud to the statewide helpline or find more information at StopFraudColorado.govBe sure to tune into 11 News at noon every Friday for our “Fraud Friday” segment.

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