Naperville business clerk helps elderly woman avoid $10K cryptocurrency scam

Cryptocurrency ATM and warning flyer to avoid a scam
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An employee at a Naperville business helped save an elderly woman from falling victim to a $10,000 cryptocurrency scam, according to a Facebook post from the Naperville Police Department (NPD).

Clerk interference leads to NPD investigation

Last week, a clerk at a Naperville business noticed an elderly woman on the phone while approaching a cryptocurrency ATM. He told the woman that “legitimate companies” do not require cryptocurrency as payment, and told her to be cautious.

The clerk heard a male voice on the phone telling the woman to leave the business. He then took down her license plate number while she was leaving, and told the NPD to contact her.

Upon further investigation, Naperville police found the woman had received an email offering a refund for anti-virus software. She clicked refund and reached out to the number provided in the email.

A scammer told the woman she received a much larger refund than she should have by accident and needed to reimburse the company by converting cash into Bitcoin.

The clerk knew what to do thanks to recent efforts from the Naperville Police Department. 

The NPD said they have sent crime prevention specialists to businesses with cryptocurrency ATMs around the city to educate clerks about the signs of a customer being scammed. They also put up warning flyers next to the ATMs.

How to protect yourself from a cryptocurrency scam

Earlier this year, the NPD saw four reported cases of cryptocurrency scams within a two-week period, resulting in nearly $750,000 in losses.

They provided a series of tips from the Federal Trade Commission to help protect the public from scammers. These include not giving out personal information to someone you weren’t expecting, avoiding clicking links or calling unknown numbers, and not succumbing to pressure to “act immediately” if prompted.

Anyone who suspects they were the victim of a scam should call the NPD at (630) 420-6665.

Photo courtesy: Naperville Police Department

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