Roughly $10 million lost to financial scams in Essex County last year

Amid the growing popularity of digital scammers, it's important to know the warning signs to avoid it happening to you.

Close up of a Bitcoin ATM machine

Financial fraud cost victims just about $10 million in Essex County last year, according to a statement released by the county's district attorney Paul Tucker, who urged citizens to keep their eyes open to and report increasingly common crypto scams.

Cryptocurrency is described as digital money that isn't managed by a government or a bank. Crypto ATMS, otherwise known as "crypto kiosks" and "BTMS" work just like the traditional machine, but allow users to purchase digital currency, like Bitcoin.



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“In many of these scams, users are directed to send the cryptocurrency to the scammer’s digital wallet, and because these transactions are instantaneous, there is no clawback period and perpetrators can instantly transfer funds,” said Tucker.

Crypto scams have become a popular method for criminals to swindle their victims. These scams are especially prevalent among older victims. The FBI reported that in 2023, around 101,000 Americans 60 years and older experienced digital scams.  

Keeping an eye out for the warning signs can help protect you from digital fraud involving Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. These signs include directions to remain on the phone while making transactions and instructions to keep it a secret from others.

“Legitimate entities won’t say cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is the only payment option,” said Tucker.

Citizens are encouraged to immediately contact local police if they believe they have become the victim of a crypto scam.

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