Our 11 News Call For Action team pens a weekly column for our news partner The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – KKTV 11 News is once again teaming up 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 noon on Fridays. Every week, I check in with the experts to find out which scams are making the rounds and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim. This time, we are focusing on cryptocurrency scams.
“The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said that cryptocurrency is one of the most common methods of payment that scammers are asking for right now and we are hearing the exact same thing, as part of the ElderWatch helpline from Coloradans all over 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 speak with AARP. One of the biggest complaints the helpline has received lately is scams related to digital currency. If you transfer money through cryptocurrency, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.
“It’s very much like gift cards and money transfers — once that money is gone, (it) is gone,” said Fetterhoff. “I think it’s really important to know that one of the most common scams that we’re seeing in regard to this cryptocurrency fad is that when scammers are pretending to be experts in cryptocurrency or bitcoin, and they might approach you on a site like Facebook and Instagram saying that they are an expert in the field and they can help you invest money. It’s a red flag of a scam.
“I would definitely recommend not following the advice of 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 should not trust people who promise they can quickly and easily make you money. Scammers will also promise they can get you free money.
“Just remember that it’s a red flag if someone asks you to pay with bitcoin or cryptocurrency,” said Fetterhoff. “If you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t understand how you’re paying, just disengage with the person and in the end you won’t be losing money.”
You can report scams and fraud to the statewide helpline or find more information at StopFraudColorado.gov. Make sure to tune into 11 News at noon each Friday for our “Fraud Friday” segment.
Click here to read the original column on gazette.com.
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