Alert! Naperville Police warn residents of cryptocurrency scams – Positively Naperville

Above / Four cryptocurrency-related fraud reports have been filed since February 29, 2024, totaling nearly $750,000 in losses. (PN file photo)

The Naperville Police Department is warning residents to be on the lookout for scams after noticing an unusual number of cryptocurrency-related fraud cases reported since late February.

Four cases have been reported since February 29, 2024 and are not believed to be related to each other. Typically, Naperville's financial crimes unit only sees two or three cryptocurrency-related fraud cases each month.

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The victims of the most recently reported scams are two men and two women residents of Naperville ranging in age from 45 to 83 years old. All of their cases have been the result of different scam tactics (romance, hacking, arrest, and sextortion), but they have two things in common: the victim never met the criminal in person, and cryptocurrency was used to make the payment.

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres

“It's disconcerting to think how convincing these scammers can be. They really play with people's emotions, whether it's love, fear or anything else,” said Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres. “I hate to suggest that people don't trust others, but that's exactly what you should do when someone you've never met in person wants you to send them money. No matter how convincing they are or how well you think you know them, if you haven't met them in person, that should be a red flag.”

Tips to Prevent Fraud from the Federal Trade Commission

Here are some additional tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help protect residents from scams:

  • Do not provide your personal or financial information in response to an unexpected request. Honest organizations will not call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, such as your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. If you receive an email or text message from a company you do business with and you believe it is real, it is best not to click on any links or call the number they provided. Instead, contact them using information you find on the website of a company you know to be trustworthy.
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately. Honest companies will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
  • Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you can only pay with cryptocurrency, a bank transfer service, a payment app, or a gift card. Also, never deposit a check and send money to someone.
  • Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone (a friend, family member, neighbor) what happened. Talking about it could help you identify a scam.

“Unfortunately, when money is converted into cryptocurrency and transferred to a scammer, it is very difficult to trace that money and the chances of getting it back are very small,” said Chief Arres. "We want people to remember that if someone you don't know asks or demands that you pay them immediately with cryptocurrency, a wire transfer, or a gift card, don't do it."

Additional information on how to recognize and prevent scams is available at the Federal Trade Commission website. If you believe you have been a victim of a scam or are unsure if someone is trying to scam you, call the Naperville Police Department at (630) 420-6665.

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