Many of today’s scams involve people impersonating government officials or officers of law enforcement agencies. Customers are frequently contacted by scammers posing as representatives of the Social Security Administration, the US Marshals/local police, and the IRS (especially around tax season).
No government organization will ever contact you to request Bitcoin or cryptocurrency for any reason! Bitcoin is not recognized as an official currency by the US government or any other governmental organization. Police or agents of law enforcement organizations will never call you directly and threaten you with arrest, demand money, or promise to keep your funds safe as cryptocurrency.
Anyone who contacts you with such claims should be ignored and reported to local law enforcement because they are a scam.
The scammer impersonates an IRS agent and then calls or emails the victim. If the victim does not comply, the scammer will threaten the victim with jail time, and the victim will immediately send cryptocurrency to the scammer to cover “money owed.”
Scammers may also offer alternative payment options such as Visa prepaid cards and retail gift cards.
The Social Security Scam begins with contact from a scammer who usually poses as a local police officer or US Marshal. They will claim that your Social Security number is linked to a string of crimes in another state. They will threaten the victim with immediate arrest and jail time if the funds are not transferred into a “secure account” to be held until the investigation is completed.
They may also ask for payment in the form of gift cards or prepaid cards.
This scam targets immigrants, particularly undocumented individuals, by threatening them with deportation if a sum in cryptocurrency is not paid. These scammers frequently impersonate a consular official from an individual’s country of citizenship or pose as a US Immigration authority such as USCIS, ICE, or Homeland Security.
Police and law enforcement will never call or email you about your personal finances or to notify you of an investigation in this manner.
Government impersonators generally contact their victims through phone calls, text messages, or social media. The phone calls are mainly related to IRS and Law Enforcement impersonation
Social media impersonation generally happens when a friend’s social media gets hacked from a prior scam. This type of scam has mainly been linked to applying for fabricated grants, loans, etc. The friend reaches out saying they were the recipient of some sort of government grant and in order to apply they need to pay some sort of upfront fee to get the money from the grant/investment delivery.