The FBI Miami Field Office warns about cryptocurrency investment schemes, saying that even crypto ATMs are used as payment methods by scammers.
FBI and scams through crypto ATMs
In a public notice, the FBI Miami Field Office in coordination with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), mentioned which are the cryptocurrency investment schemes used in scams, including also crypto ATMs.
In this regard, here is what they said:
“Many victims report being directed to make wire transfers to overseas accounts or purchase large amounts of prepaid cards. The use of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency ATMs is also an emerging method of payment. Individual losses related to these schemes ranged from tens of thousands to millions of dollars.”
Basically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Miami has warned that crypto ATMs are becoming a popular method used by fraudsters to receive funds from scammed victims.
FBI and crypto investment schemes: how do scammers operate?
The FBI has described how scammers generally act with their victims as being a repeating pattern.
And indeed, most of the time, scammers pose as highly successful crypto traders, enticing victims to make supposed investments and providing fictitious returns to encourage further cryptocurrency investment.
Usually, the means used to meet victims are social media or dating apps, places where scammers try to gain their trust and confidence.
Once victims have been convinced to take action, they start making continuous deposits using crypto ATMs among other methods.
Crypto ATMs: growth estimates
Last summer, Research and Markets had released an analysis that the crypto ATM market could grow at a compound rate of 59% from 2022 until 2027, to $472 million over the next five years.
The current value is estimated at a total of $46.4 million globally, but according to the report, this value is expected to increase.
The assessment on the growth of the global crypto ATM market was based on four approaches: market development, market penetration, product development and diversification.
The estimated industry growth projection is thus tenfold its total market value for the next five years.
Scams involving pyramid and Ponzi schemes
In addition to the scamming schemes described by the FBI, there are also platforms that scam through Ponzi and Pyramid schemes, and these are continuing to grow.
In this regard, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) recently targeted 11 crypto companies because they are referred to as Ponzi and Pyramid schemes.
These are companies that create HYIP platforms that are outright investment frauds, promising high returns at low risk and too much, while providing little or fake details about the team managing the investment.