A senior citizen from Indiana lost around $12,000 in a crypto scam that caught her off-guard. The 77 years old Chesterton resident received an email on her ID from PayPal. The email alerted the woman that $500 has been stolen from her PayPal account and she needs to call a given number to fix the issue. The woman who was not very familiar with the technology called the number.
The male with a foreign accent asked her to purchase $3,500 in Bitcoin from Coinbase. She has never heard about the said cryptocurrency before in her life. The scammer eventually convinced her to grant access to him with the help of a remote access application. When the scammers got a complete gain of her phone, she noticed that her bank accounts were emptied.
Scammers are Targeting the Elderly due to their Lack of Knowledge on Technology
According to Police Sergeant Dave Virijevich, criminals and scammers are known to target the elderly for their tendency not to have good background knowledge about cryptocurrencies or technology in general. He further added that these scammers use the mobile application to hide their real phone numbers and pose as the caller from any government or private organization.
Virijevich told Tribune that the scammers acted as the representatives of reputable organizations like the Department of Treasury and IRS. He added that many old people are not aware of such applications; therefore, they can’t doubt these threat actors. Virijevich also told the media that people should look out for numbers that start with 202 that seem to originate from Washington, but they are only posers.
The woman who lost a huge sum of money to calling scammers was manipulated into giving up her personal information. She told the police later that she also shared a state photo ID of herself with the scammers. The scammer took her into confidence slowly and tricked her into buying Bitcoin from the Coinbase platform.
She was also instructed to download a remote access application on her phone that granted full control of the application to the scammers. In the end, the scammers withdrew $8,800 in 6 installments from her account. The police later said that she was able to recollect $2,000 through her bank. However, she has now changed her phone and closed the affected account for better measures.