Cryptocurrency scam costing Springfield residents $200,000 a day | Top Stories |

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) —  Last month, a 91-year-old woman walked into King City Wireless with $30,000 and attempted to deposit it into a Bitcoin ATM on the property.

Two brothers who work there, Yousef and Suliman Yafai stopped the woman and asked her why she was sending all of this money. She said she was sending to it her bank. The brothers eventually called the police and convinced the woman to stop depositing the money after she had already put $3,000 into the machine.

According to SPD Financial Crimes Detective Jennifer Wallace, these types of scams are becoming more common. She has seen people lose up to $50,000. Wallace says there are 25 Bitcoin ATMs in Springfield, and 10 of them have over $20,000 in cash deposited each day. She estimates citywide, people are scammed out of $200,00 a day.

“There are signs all over the Bitcoin machine that says if you’re doing this, this could be a scam, and beware of these scams,” said Wallace. “It’s all over the machines but the people that are falling for these scams aren’t really reading all the warnings that are on the machine.”

Wallace says she has seen people of all ages victimized by this scam. The most common thing scammers do is cause some sort of disruption on your computer, and tell you to call the number for help. Once you do this, they will say your financial information has been compromised. After this happens, the scammer calls you from a different number and says they are from the fraud department at your bank.

They will then direct you to remove all of your money from your account, and to keep it a secret from the tellers. After this happens, they will send you a QR code and instruct you to deposit your money at a Bitcoin machine. They will ask you to stay on the phone with them while you do all of this, and emphasize how urgent the matter is.

Once you do this, they transfer the money outside of the country and it cannot be recovered.

Wallace says if you receive a call like this, its important to hang up. If you are unsure about the security of your account, or a call you have received, you can call your bank directly, or reach out to the local police department.

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