Casper, Wyoming (February 24, 2023)
The Casper Police Department would like to warn our community about potentially devastating new trends in scams and frauds. Our department routinely receives reports of fraud or scams and have noticed an increasing trend that include new technology, cryptocurrency, and investment scams.
In these scams, individuals contact victims directly, or have the victims call them due to malware executed on the victim’s computer. The suspects demand money to “clean” and “secure” the computers. As a result, victims are pulling out several thousand dollars and buying cryptocurrency through the cryptocurrency “ATM’s” located in our city. The suspects are sending QR codes linked to their online “wallets”, which the victims send the cryptocurrency to. The suspects then continue to harass the victim, demanding additional funds to pay for “processing fees” or other excuses.
If you believe your computer has been infected by a malware, or ransomware, take it to a local reputable service center, and have them clean the suspicious software off of your computer for you. Do not ever trust online “vendors” or people who contact you directly telling you they have detected an infection on your computer.
If you are ever directed to purchase gift cards, bitcoin, or other alternate forms of payment, rather than directly paying cash or using a debit/credit card, stop. Do not do what the person is asking you to do. Once payment is initiated using money-grams, bitcoin, or gift cards, there is no way to stop the payment or recover your lost funds.
Another common scam is being contacted online through a social media platforms, where the victim is being asked to “invest” money into cryptocurrency. The victim sends money to the suspect, either direct by sending cash, gift cards, or purchasing cryptocurrency online and transferring it to a digital wallet. The suspect sends a photograph of the digital wallet contents,showing a large and often dramatic increase in funds, to the victim to make them believe their investment has been successful. The suspect then asks for additional money to pay for “fees”associated with transferring the money back into the victim’s account. Further, the suspects will always ask for more when money is sent.
We ask members of our community who are legitimately interested in investing money in cryptocurrency to seek out legitimate, well known, local financial advisors who have that capability.
In many cases, scammers typically use threats, fear, blackmail, abusive language, or other high-pressure tactics with the ultimate goal of forcing your compliance. If you feel you are being pressured into sending money to someone you do not know, stop. Take time to voice your fears to another person. If you are suspicious that the activity might be criminal, please call our department and make a report.
Please, do not rely on your banking institution to tell you to stop a payment, or help you stop a payment once it has been initiated. Also, do not rely on your banking institution to cover any losses you may experience as a result of these types of frauds. Please take time to evaluate any suspicious circumstances you are experiencing. If it doesn’t feel right, end the contact, and tell someone you trust