Have you gotten into cryptocurrency? Here’s a new angle to watch out for: exchanging your currency. Exchanges can sometimes lead to money loss – and are further exacerbated by so-called recovery services that trick people who have lost money or crypto. Some recovery services try to convince you they can get your money back by impersonating the government, a company, or any other organization. Others are actual businesses that may be able to trace where the crypto went, but they have no way of recovering your lost assets. These businesses generate an impressive looking packet describing their tracing efforts, but in the end, the money you pay them for their “service” yields no recovery.
At first, the scammer will appear to be knowledgeable, organized, and trustworthy while convincing you they can get all your money back. They will either ask for a fee for their services or ask for your financial information to put the lost funds back into your account. Either of these will result in further losses that are largely irreversible.
Here’s what you can do to avoid cryptocurrency recovery scams:
- Do not pay anyone who contacts you, offering to recover any money you lost in a scam. It is never a good idea to pay upfront for a refund or this type of service. Anyone who asks for financial information or for upfront fees is a scammer.
- Do not trust calls from anyone who claims to be from the government or another organization and asks for money. Just because someone tells you who they are or who they represent, it does not mean it is the truth. Government agencies and legitimate organizations will never ask for your personal or financial information out of the blue. Hang up the phone and call the number you have for the organization to check.
- Make sure you know the exact identity and reputation of who you are looking to do business with. Do your research first by searching the name of the company or person you are speaking to with the words “scam” or “review” to validate their credibility. If you are unsure if a company is legitimate, call our office before doing business with them.
If you think you or somebody you know has been the victim of a scam, contact our office’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at https://ncdoj.gov/complaint.