Police in South Australia have revealed scammers impersonating staff from the Australian Tax Office have lured victims to Bitcoin ATMs – fleecing them of thousands of dollars.
SA Police say it’s a new tactic being used in a common cold call technique in which offenders, believed to be based overseas, claim to be working for the ATO.
In two recent cases of the Bitcoin ATM scam, reported to SA Police, a conference call was established by the scammer using technology to make the caller ID appear legitimate.
During the conference call a ‘payment arrangement’ was set up which required the victim to go to a local Bitcoin ATM or pay via Google Play vouchers.
It’s not clear how much was deposited into the Bitcoin ATMs, however SA Police say the victims lost ‘thousands’.
“This type of scam is of concern to police, with this change in methodology further removing the opportunity for a third-party to intervene to protect or assist the victim,” said Detective Sergeant Martin Burke, from the SA Police Electronic Crime Section.
“The advent of Bitcoin ATMs has provided another opportunity for these scammers to take advantage of people, without anyone else being involved in the process to break the chain.”
Information on scam prevention and awareness is available on the Australian Government’s ScamWatch website.