7 Investigates: Bitcoin Blindside – Boston News, Weather, Sports

March 27, 2021

(WHDH) — It all started with a strange phone call.

“It was out of the blue, she didn’t recognize the number,” said Wayne.

Wayne’s daughter got the call while working at an elementary school.

It was so upsetting she still doesn’t want to discuss it.

“(She’s) completely terrified. I mean words can’t even describe how she was,” said Wayne.

Someone pretending to be a Federal Reserve officer told her she was being accused of wiring money that was then used for drug and sex trafficking.

“She knew she was innocent. She actually fought with them on the phone saying that you’re mistaken, and you have the wrong person,” said Wayne.

But Wayne says the caller knew things about his daughter: where she lived, where she worked. The caller told her she would be arrested at school.

Then Wayne’s daughter got another call – from someone posing as a Londonderry police officer. The Caller I.D. said Londonderry Police. But it was all fake.

“They said to her that she had a $5,000 warrant that needed to be paid immediately or she was going to be arrested…it became pretty convincing and she was hysterical,” said Wayne.

The fake officer told Wayne’s daughter to get more than five thousand in cash and bring it to an address in Dracut.

She fed the cash into this Bitcoin ATM.

It converts dollars into the cryptocurrency that can’t be traced. It also lets you send it to a coded account which is what Wayne’s daughter was told to do.

But she missed this warning sign on the machine that says:

“Have you been sent to this ATM to make a payment for anything, such as ssn fraud, taxes.. Or anything odd? Stop! You are being scammed, hang up and call us. All transactions are final and irreversible”

Wayne reached out to law enforcement. He realized it was a scam when Londonderry officers told him his daughter was not being investigated or charged.

“I had the police call the bitcoin machine to see- hey, can you go down and take that money out of the machine and they absolutely said no – you got to know who you’re sending your money to. .. to me it’s just not ethical.”

The company that owns the Bitcoin ATM tells 7 Investigates:

“We take our customers’ safety and security seriously. We proactively educate and warn customers of possible or likely scam activities they may be unknowingly victims of and a warning is posted on all of our ATMs. We are looking into the reported incident and working with local law enforcement.”

Now this dad wants to warn everyone about this costly call.

“Not only did it happen to my daughter, I’m sure it’s happened to you know, so many people since then and I feel it should be stopped,” said Wayne

Police say if you get a call from someone who says they are in law enforcement and is telling you to give them money – don’t do it. Hang up and call your local police instead.

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