It has been reported that a Bitcoin ATM scam has affected four victims in Melbourne, Australia. The scammers collected around $50,000 AUD from these four victims. The victims lost this money by making deposits into a bitcoin ATM.
The Scammers Threaten to Arrest Victims
Based on a report from the Maribyrnong Crime Investigation Unit, these victims are being cajoled into making these deposits, in order to offset their tax debt.
Some of these victims were threatened into making these deposits in order to avoid getting arrested. The scammer requested for a fixed sum of money to be deposited so as to avoid getting arrested.
One thing common with all four victims is the fact that they were asked to make their way down to a bitcoin ATM located in Braybrook, after which they are given a bitcoin address where they will be sending the money to. After this, each victim gets a unique code from the scammers.
Victims Fail to Report the Crime
The report from the crime unit also made it known that this type of scam has been in existence for quite a while. The target victims of this scam are mostly migrants who had recently arrived in search for jobs.
Since the majority of them are probably overstaying their visa, it becomes quite easy for these scammers to rattle them into thinking they are at risk of getting deported or worst get imprisoned.
Based on a report from Sergeant Katherine Lehpamer, a detective at the Maribyrnong Crime Investigation Unit, victims of this crime tend not to report the crime.
There were two reasons identified to be the cause of them not reporting, one being the fact that most of them have expired VISA and the second one being that they were unaware of the fact that the authorities would never ask them to deposit cash into ATM’s.
She stated that:
“Anyone getting a call along these lines should make inquiries with the relevant authority before paying any money”
She also added that:
“We believe there are a number of victims who may be here on visas or not aware that authorities would never tell them to deposit money into an ATM.”
The Sergeant also warned that upon getting any information related to giving out any kind of personal information or banking details over the mobile phone, a report needs to be made to the station.