Bitcoin Scams on the Rise | Fraudulent Callers Target Victims

Richard Lee, a crime prevention officer with the South Pasadena Police Department, says there have a series of scams where an alleged IRS official asks for payment in Bitcoins

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Local authorities say there have been several scams where a suspect poses as an IRS official and asks for payment in Bitcoins.

Richard Lee, a crime prevention officer with the South Pasadena Police Department, says this type of scam has recently occurred twice where the suspect calls the victim and states they are from the IRS, and the person needs to pay for fraudulent or back taxes.

Another suspect, according to Lee, comes on the phone and states they are from the South Pasadena Police Department and payment is needed in Bitcoins.

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“The caller ID is even displayed South Pasadena to make the scam more believable,” said Lee. “Should you get a call or text stating you owe for back taxes, hang-up! In addition, the South Pasadena Police Department does not serve IRS warrants. The IRS, police agencies and utility companies do NOT accept Bitcoin or any crypto currency as a form of payment!”

Persons who believe they owe back taxes are urged to contact the IRS directly.

In another recent scam, Lee says the suspect sent a text to the victim stating that the city has an increase in crime and to receive a free alarm click a link. “The caller ID even displayed ‘City of South Pasadena,’” he explained. “Fortunately, the victim contacted us to verify the text. Don’t click on any links from an unknown text or email. Clicking the link could lead to a virus or malware.”

 

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