Randa Cranford – a 78-year-old grandmother – is the latest victim of a crypto scam, having lost as much as $7,000 in the process.
Randa Cranford Lost a Lot of Money
The situation began when Cranford received a strange message on her computer screen claiming that something had been compromised and that she should call the number featured on the screen to get things resolved. In an interview, she stated:
All of a sudden, these windows flashed up and a message that read, ‘If you can’t get back into your computer, please call this number.’
She immediately called and got in touch with a male representative. He told her that her bank account was not secure, and that she needed to take care of things right away. She commented:
He says, ‘This has been compromised and this has been compromised.’ They thought bitcoins would be the best solution because I could secure my money that way.
Cranford said that the person stayed with her on the phone when we went to her local bank and withdrew as much as $7,000. She was then told to go to a nearby bitcoin ATM, which in this case was located just a few blocks from her home in a nearby shopping center. She continued by saying:
I was told to go put the $7,000 into bitcoins and they would transfer it to my savings account.
However, things began to appear suspicious when after she followed the instructions, she was advised to invest more money into what was later revealed to be a scam account. She began to feel nervous about the situation and felt something was wrong, but by then, the damage had been done. She said:
He [then] told me to shred the receipts from the bitcoin machine, but I took pictures of them, so I have them on my phone. Listen to your gut. Something didn’t feel right, but I thought, ‘I don’t know enough about this.’
As she had engaged in the transaction herself, Cranford – despite telling law enforcement agents about what had happened – was later informed that finding the stolen money would be a very difficult task. She commented:
He made sure it looked like I did all of it willingly.
Daniel Irwin – a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau – is confident that the money is lost forever. He explained in a statement:
Chances are, she’ll never get that money back.
Stolen Money Stays Stolen
He also mentioned that seniors are most often targeted by these kinds of scammers given that many of them are not aware of bitcoin and have little understanding of its technology. He explained:
So that’s what’s just so heartbreaking. Anyone can lose that money and you feel bad, but when someone’s retired and on a fixed income, that’s even more heartbreaking.