DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton chapter of the Better Business Bureau is warning residents in the Miami Valley against a scam involving cryptocurrency, or digital money.
The BBB says a Kettering man was scammed out of $13,000 by a company that promised to refund his money, but instead kept it and banned him from their website.
Protections for cryptocurrency are different than protections for U.S. dollars. Knowing that cryptocurrencies are not easily refundable, scammers will promise victims of a money-back guarantee or a big payout. They also promise anonymity, but encrypted logs of cryptocurrencies can easily be traced back to people’s money and information.
According to the BBB, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself against scams involving cryptocurrencies:
- Educate yourself on the difference between cryptocurrencies and U.S. dollars, including the fact it does not have the same legal protections as U.S. dollars.
- Be wary of investing with companies promising big payouts or guarantees because the value of cryptocurrency can change hourly and can never be guaranteed.
- Be on the lookout for cryptojacking. This is when a scammer uses your devices processing power to “mine” or get cryptocurrency for themselves. Signs include slowing of apps and battery drainage.
- Do not say “yes” to cryptocurrency stock purchases from an aggressive cold caller, even if the claims sound plausible, particularly if the recommended stocks are very low-priced. Don’t feel guilty about hanging up. Not answering at all, or putting down the phone, are generally the best and safest responses to a cold caller or anyone aggressively pitching low-priced stocks or other investment opportunities.
- Expect you may not get immediate access to your cryptocurrency due to large volumes of customer requests. This could lead to increased losses or reduced potential gains.
- Report scams using BBB’s Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org. You can also report scams to the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint.
- Use trusted third-party resources, such as your Better Business Bureau, before doing business with companies. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301 to get Business Profiles on companies.
“When considering investing or working with a company, you want guaranteed protection and quality service,” John North, president and CEO of BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley, said. “With cryptocurrency, it’s hard to find those guarantees so it’s important to do your research and only invest what you can afford to lose.”