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Because of the frequency of attempted scams, third-party transactions are expressly prohibited. Below is a list of common scams:

Quick tips and red flags:

  • Scammers can use software and strategies to make phone numbers and email addresses from which they are contacting you look legitimate. 
  • While scammers can be anywhere, many scams originate from India or West African countries. It is very common for scammers to have Indian or West African accents.
  • While CryptoFlip is concerned about bitcoin-related scams, it is common for scammers to collect payments via gift cards (iTunes, Amazon, etc.).

Romance Scams

  • In this scenario, a significant other (boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancé or even a husband/wife) is asking you to send them money using Bitcoin.
  • Some victims of these scams have been conversing with the scammer for 5+ years. In some cases, they have even met with individuals claiming to be the significant other.
  • Over 90% of the time, the scammer is claiming to be in another country. They can also claim to be in other U.S. cities.
  • Typically, the scammers are claiming to be in the military, working on an oil rig, working in a precious stone mine or working for an NGO or other volunteer-based job.
  • The scammer can start by asking for small amounts to pay for miscellaneous expenses. However, they will typically claim they need money for medical expenses, a flight back to the U.S. or to pay for somli customs or other miscellaneous travel-related fee.

  • While not limited to these scenarios, victims typically meet the victims on online dating sites or on Facebook, Instagram or some other social network.

Social Security/IRS Scams

  • In this scenario, the victim typically receives an automated call claiming that their social security number and/or credit card(s) were involved in some type of scams. They will be prompted to "press 1" to be connected to an SSA/IRS agent.
  • The scammer will then say that the victim's social security number was used to open bank accounts that were used to launder money / commit some other type of financial crime.
  • It is common for the scammers to say that they are going to transfer the victim to some type of law enforcement officer. The "law enforcement officer" will then claim that the victim is in serious legal trouble.
  • The scammers will claim that the victim needs to make a payment to avoid being arrested and/or in order to be re-issued a new social security number.

Utilities Scams

  • Customers will receive a (typically automated) phone call from a local utilities provider (Ex: electric company).
  • The scammers will claim that the victim's power is about to be shut off due to non-payment. The scammer will claim the victim has to make a payment instantly.
  • The scammers will claim that there is some astronomical "reconnection fee".
  • In some cases, the scammers will actually have knowledge of the person or businesses' account information (account number, balance, etc.)

Porting Scams

  • In this scenario, the victim receives text messages or a phone call from close friends, family members or an old friend/acquaintance asking for money.
  • It is not uncommon for scammers to "port" an individual's phone number, so that it shows up on the victim's caller ID as a loved one or acquaintance’s phone number.
  • The scammer will then ask the victim to send them money (Bitcoin).
  • Example: A scammer victimized an individual by porting his son's phone number. He then called the victim and claimed he had been arrested for DUI while on spring break in Miami. He claimed that he needed the victim to send him money (Bitcoin). The victim's son was actually in Miami for spring break.

Classifieds Scams

  • In this scenario, scammers will put listings on Craigslist, Offer Up, Letgo, etc. The ad will have a link to what appears to be a legitimate page on another site (eBay, Yahoo Autos, etc.). These pages are indistinguishable from the actual sites; however, the support numbers, support email addresses, contact numbers are fake. Operators will answer these calls/emails posing as the seller or as an operator from eBay, Yahoo Autos, etc.
  • Typically, these are ads for automobiles or other big-ticket items. It is also common that it is a very "good deal" and that the seller just wants to get rid of it because it belonged to a recently deceased partner or loved one.

Investment-Related Scams

  • In this scenario, scammers will lure in victims by posing as a broker, investor, financial manager, etc.
  • In most scenarios, the victims will come across the scammer on a social network (Ex: Scammers on Instagram posting photos of luxurious vehicles, large amounts of cash, screenshots of bitcoin price action, etc.)
  • It is also common for scammers to ask the victim to send some Bitcoin and they will invest it. They will then show screenshots of "accounts" showing the victim's name, showing a larger balance. They then ask for more money, promising bigger returns.