Do You Know About This Terrible Crypto Scam Preying on Senior Citizens?

Couple looking at a laptop with aprons on.

Have you heard about this popular crypto scam? It’s infuriating to know that scammers are preying on senior citizens, but the story below provides some hope that there are decent people out there.

The Crypto Overpayment Scam

A popular scam that targets innocent seniors is doing the rounds. The latest victim could have been an older woman, whom we’ll call Betty. Luckily for her, a watchful store employee named Jack was able to save her from losing several thousand dollars.

While working at his store, Jake saw Betty enter and go directly to the ATM machine. Jake was concerned because this was no ordinary ATM machine. This was a Coinflip Crypto ATM, and Jake had hardly seen any senior citizens ever use it.

While working, Jake noticed that the woman was chatting on the phone in front of the ATM, trying to discern how to use it. His spidey senses started tingling, so he went over to check if Betty needed assistance.

Suspicions Confirmed

Betty’s explanation instantly reminded Jake of the age-old fraudulent check scam. She explained that she was on the phone with a man who was trying to walk her through the process of using the crypto ATM. The man was claiming to have refunded too much money to Betty’s bank.

Betty was instructed to use the crypto ATM to fix the issue and send him $3k. Jake hilariously and correctly thinks, “not today Satan.” Now Jake is sure that the man on the phone is trying to scam Betty out of three thousand dollars!

A Timely Save

Before Betty could continue, Jake requested she put the man on speakerphone so they could better assist. Once on speakerphone, Jake observed the man on the phone yelling at Betty. He was adamant that she should not talk to anyone. Hmm, I wonder why.

Finally, Jake explained the scam to Betty and asserted that she likely did not receive any money in her bank account despite the man’s claims. He directed her to her bank so she could confirm the man on the phone was lying.

A Helpful Gesture

After that experience, Jake placed a sign on the ATM as a warning to others. This helps ensure that others are not immediately tricked in case this hero without a cape is not on the job. Small gestures and actions like this help in a pay-it-forward fashion.

New Twist To a Classic

As Jake noted, this scam isn’t new. It has been around for decades now. The same “overpaid” scam used to target checks and debit deposits has been retooled for a crypto world.

The same almost happened to me when I was much younger. A supposed “mystery shopping” gig sent me a check for thousands, but they sent too much. So I needed to head over to a check-cashing location, cash the check and send them back the difference.

Thankfully, the place knew the trick and refused to cash the check, and a friend broke down the scam for me to avoid in the future.

Here are a couple of other examples from Reddit users reacting to Jake’s story.

Grocery Store Training To Protect Older People

While Jake rescued and placed a sign warning older people, especially about the scam, one user pointed out how rampant this grift has become. The user’s girlfriend works as a district manager for a grocery chain, and everyone, including the sales clerks, receives training on protecting the elderly from this scam.

They’re even taught to identify people who seem distressed on their phones or are bewildered around the ATMs. Though the lengths people have to go to to protect others are sad, it’s also beautiful.

You Can’t Save Them All

Another tragedy is that some people will not bother listening. A final user discussed a similar scam using gift cards and tried to caution an older man purchasing a $500 gift card. Unfortunately, the man got cocky and told the young user he didn’t understand business. After buying the gift card, he returned half an hour later, attempting to get a refund.

Although not everyone can be rescued from a scam, it’s encouraging that many still try. Stay vigilant.

This thread inspired this article.

Featured Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi /

This article originally appeared on Ash & Pri.

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