On July 7, 2023, a Clive, Iowa resident fell victim to a scammer posing as a Polk County sheriff’s deputy, who coerced the individual into depositing $6,600 into a bitcoin automated teller machine (ATM). The Clive Police Department insists that the scammers utilized cryptocurrencies due to the challenges in tracking these assets.
Scammer Poses as Polk County Deputy, Defrauds Iowa Resident of $6,600 in Bitcoin ATM Scheme
The Clive Police Department has notified the public that an individual was defrauded of $6,600 after being persuaded to deposit the funds into a bitcoin ATM. The account was shared on Facebook, and the police stated that the person affected would not be identified for “security reasons.” As per the statement, the victim received a call from an individual who falsely identified themselves as a Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy.
The impersonator informed the woman about an arrest warrant and persuaded her to “send $6,600 through a Bitcoin ATM to resolve the matter.” Following this portion of the story, the police did not provide any information regarding how the imposter acquired the funds from the machine. The presence of the imitator alongside the victim would likely be necessary to successfully execute such a theft using a cryptocurrency ATM; however, these types of specifics were omitted from the narrative.
If the imposter was physically present to acquire the cryptocurrency assets, as that would be the sole feasible method to obtain them unless she transferred the BTC to the impersonator subsequent to utilizing the bitcoin ATM, then opting for cash would have provided a significantly higher level of anonymity compared to BTC. The account is excessively ambiguous and replete with uncertainties, yet local media organizations from Iowa disseminated the story subsequent to the police’s declaration of the theft.
“The scam highlights the growing concern of scammers exploiting the anonymity and difficulty in tracking cryptocurrency transactions,” the Clive police explain. “According to recent reports, scammers are utilizing fear tactics and impersonating law enforcement officials to deceive unsuspecting individuals into transferring funds through bitcoin ATMs.”
The Clive police, in conjunction with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, have launched an inquiry into the theft. “Law enforcement agencies emphasize that they would never contact individuals to demand payment over the phone or through bitcoin ATMs,” stated the police officials. In the press release shared on Facebook, a commenter expressed their opinion in the comments section, stating, “Make bitcoin ATMs illegal.”
What do you think about the theft story in Iowa? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.