Scam Alert: Fake Callers Impersonating as Gwinnett County police and IRS Officials Demand Bitcoin Payments
January 4th, 2019
Bitcoin due to its very anonymous nature is vulnerable to scams and one more such case has come to light. According to the latest report, Gwinnett County police is witnessing suspected scam phone calls within the area which are allegedly demanding ‘Bitcoin payment’ from the public.
Bitcoin not alone, wire transfer and gift cards among other modes of payment
Scammers are using more sophisticated ways that look just authentic and this time they targeted ‘Gwinnett County police and Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’. Below image is an official note released by the police;
As per the reports, scammer claimed himself as a public information officer named, Sgt. Jake Smith and used his identity to call the general public. The call allegedly demanded immediate payments in bitcoin to continue utility service within the area. A department release read the statement as follows:
Scammers have told victims and potential victims that a utility will be cut off if payment isn’t immediately received, that a relative was arrested and needs money for bail and that immediate payment is needed for a ticket or warrant, and failure to pay will result in arrest.
However, it wasn’t just one call, the other phone call received by a victim claimed to be from IRS (Internal Revenue Service), demanding so-called ‘payments of back taxes’ or startup fees. Accordingly, the police cautioned the public to report all such scams by calling Gwinnett County police at 770-513-5300.
Furthermore, to reach millions and avoid these scams, Gwinnett Police Dept informed the public on social media to help police ‘identify suspects in several recent public burglaries’. In addition, they asked them to share tips (if any) and call 404-577-8477.
Beware officer impersonator phone scams! Scammers use real officer names and can fake any caller ID. If you’re suspicious of being contacted by a fake officer, contact their department through a number you look up. Don’t use a number they provide. pic.twitter.com/vWidyRHrQs
— Gwinnett Police Dept (@GwinnettPd) January 3, 2019
Bitcoin is becoming the first choice for scammers
Despite the lower graph of Bitcoin’s price in 2018, reports are highlighting an upward graph of fraud rates and scams relying on digital currencies from victims. Consequently, in mid-December 2018, Coingape reported ‘Ottawa police were investigating numerous Bomb threat’, where the scammers were allegedly demanding for $20000 in Bitcoin. Moreover, Canadian police also warned public regarding Bitcoin scams and advised to have due diligence and caution before any investment in cryptocurrency during the same time.
Nevertheless, there were days when fraudsters were demanding payments in gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, and cash but the increasing awareness of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is now the favorite choice for these modern hackers.