Earn Your First Bitcoin Sign up and get $12 Bonus Referral bonus up to $3,000Sign up
The state of Connecticut is freaking out over how much crypto fraud has occurred through its growing network of bitcoin and digital currency ATMs. Thus far, millions of dollars have been stolen from multiple residents, many of whom are over the age of 60.
Connecticut Is Concerned About Crypto Fraud
The crypto space is largely unregulated, meaning whatever money gets stolen from one’s account will likely be gone forever unless law enforcement agents can jump on the matter quickly.
Detective Matthew Hogan of the State Police Eastern District Major Crime Squad in Connecticut explained in a recent interview that thus far, he and his team have managed to retain some of the assets in question, though many of the cases at hand have come with difficulties. One such case saw more than $6 million taken from a single person. He said:
Luckily, we were able to locate and seize some of these stolen assets using our tracing software. The trail always exists, it’s going to be there forever. The question is whether we can get to the assets quick enough to potentially seize and return them to the victim. So, by the time we get through a search warrant process, a lot of times, this money has moved three or four hops to a wallet that is now overseas with an entity (where) we have no jurisdiction. Luckily for us, there are some of these exchanges who are cooperative with U.S. law enforcement strictly on letterhead, but that number is fleeting.
It is estimated that many of the parties stealing the funds are not located within the United States. Crypto scams and thievery appear to be getting much bigger given that more than $3.8 billion in crypto was stolen in 2022, more than any other point in history. Hogan said:
They’ll do as many different layering techniques in the money-laundering process to obfuscate where they’re putting the money. They’ll bridge it with other tokens. They’ll move it to other blockchains. They’ll change it to other things to make it more confusing for us.
Don’t Use ATMs At All!
State Senator Patricia Billie Miller, a democrat from Stamford, Connecticut, commented that the only real way to avoid crypto crime and scams is to avoid using bitcoin ATMs altogether. She said:
Don’t use cryptocurrency ATM machines. Between their transaction rates right now (between 11 and 25 percent), there’s really no reason to use them. If you’re a consumer and you want to purchase any kind of cryptocurrency (bitcoin, Ethereum, any kind of token), you can easily open an account on Coinbase, Binance, Kucoin, any of these organizations and purchase them. There’s no reason to walk into the worst parts of a city with cash in hand and transact on one of these ATM machines.