The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) warned the people of El Paso about a cryptocurrency scam that purports to be an identity theft victim to trick victims into sending cryptocurrency and other money.
According to a local report, the cryptocurrency scam sends a letter to residences in the city that appears to be an official FBI request. Using a forged signature, the letter tries to persuade readers that it was sent by special agent John S. Morales, a real FBI agent.
To enhance credibility, the letter also has capitalized words like “UNCLASSIFED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY” and the address of an actual FBI branch in El Paso.
The letter is then titled, “REGARDING YOUR IDENTITY THEFT CASE.”
“You have successfully secured your Bank of America account that was under suspicion of US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL,” the message informs the reader. It then instructs the user to “contact your investigation officer for further assistance” after supplying a fictitious confirmation number.
Even though the letter itself doesn’t request money, scammers employ it as a tactic to mislead victims into thinking that a genuine investigation is underway regarding an identity theft case. Subsequently, the scammers may follow up with another email or phone call, soliciting the victim to send cryptocurrency or money, as reported by officials.
Scammers will direct victims who call this fictitious number to deposit money using fiat currency or cryptocurrency on a fictitious website under their control.
Authorities found out about the fraud after an El Paso resident submitted the letter to the FBI branch last week.
“The FBI and other federal agencies do not call, send letters, or email individuals threatening arrest or demanding money,” said the FBI.