The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is warning consumers that internet scammers have taken up the agency’s name to send out fraudulent emails requesting Bitcoin wallet keys from various individuals.
According to the agency, the fictitious email states that a Bitcoin wallet address is required to allow for a purported transfer of funds worth millions of dollars.
The scammers were not careful to remove any typos from the phony message, which reads:
“US COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY
Your fund $10.5M is ready to be paid to you.Note your fund can only be
paid to you VIA a Bitcoin Wallet Address ID NO:Due to too much
charges/fees been demanded by the banks and government officials befoe
they can sign for the release of funds belonging to foreigners,the
IMF.UNITED NATIONS and WORLD BANK have made a new policy that any debt
or payment belonging to an individual above $1M should be paid through
a Bitcoin wallet address.
You are instructed to provide with immediate effect a Bitcoin wallet
address id no, for your fund to be credited on the wallet for you now.
Signed NAME REMOVED
Director US COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCYC”
If one obtains the wallet address and keys to that Bitcoin wallet, they would then likely have uninhibited access to whatever funds live in that wallet.
The OCC says it is not at all affiliated with the fraudulent activity and cautions those who may be recipients of the message.
“Any communication claiming that the OCC is involved in holding any funds for the benefit of any individual or entity is fraudulent. The OCC does not participate in the transfer of funds for, or on behalf of, individuals, business enterprises, or governmental entities.
Do not respond in any manner to any proposal purported to be issued by the OCC that requests personal account information or requires the payment of any fee in connection with the proposal, or that suggests the OCC is a participant in the transfer of funds for or on behalf of others.”
Crypto scams have been on the rise in the past 12 months, according to a recent report from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The regulatory body notes that there has been a huge surge in cryptocurrency investment scams. The report says investors lost $80 million dollars to crypto-related scams since October of 2020 and a ten-fold increase in losses over the past year.
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