March 05, 2024

Cryptocurrency Fraud is on the Rise

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Cryptocurrency Fraud is on the Rise

Pacific Premier Bank considers the security of our client’s financial well-being as a top priority. As fraudulent scam tactics become more sophisticated, awareness is key to protecting your funds from fraudulent operators.

Cryptocurrency is a digital, encrypted, and decentralized medium of exchange—and because there is no central authority to maintain its value, it can be a risky investment. Cryptocurrency is also open to higher risk for investment scams because it doesn’t have the same regulatory oversight as traditional investments.

Cryptocurrency Scams

In its most recent Consumer Protection Data Spotlight, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that more than 46,000 Americans lost over $1 billion to cryptocurrency scams between January 2021 and March 2022.

According to the report, nearly half of the victims said the crypto-related scams started with an ad, post, or message on social media. The FTC urges consumers to be aware of common red flags in order to avoid crypto scams.

One common crypto scam involves investment schemes where an “investment manager” reaches out via email, phone, or social media claiming to have made millions investing in cryptocurrency, then promises their clients they will make money by investing. The scammer may ask for a starting fee (which they keep) and/or for personal information to get direct access to a person’s cryptocurrency.

DOs and DON’Ts to Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from Cryptocurrency Scams:

  • DON’T trust individuals/companies who demand payment in cryptocurrency. Legitimate businesses and government entities will never demand payment only in cryptocurrency. They will also never demand payment through email, text, or message on social media.
  • DO be wary of anyone who guarantees quick profits or big returns through crypto investments. Look out for anyone claiming they can double, triple, or quadruple your money quickly, or someone offering investment tips that sound too good to be true.
  • DO be vigilant about new online relationships. In a new online relationship, whether it be romantic or business-related, beware of anyone who asks you to invest in or send them cryptocurrency.

If you suspect your accounts have been compromised due to fraud, please contact Client Services immediately at 855.343.4070, Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. PT, and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PT.

For more cybersecurity tips, visit Pacific Premier Bank’s Cybersecurity Center.

The information expressed is being provided for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or business. Pacific Premier Bank does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice, and the information contained herein should not be construed as such. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions. For specific guidance on how this information should be applied to your situation or business, you should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before applying any recommendation. Pacific Premier Bank, Member FDIC, and Equal Housing Lender.

Pacific Premier Bank will not text, email, or call you asking for your online banking password or one-time security code. Make sure you verify the person who has contacted you before acting on any request.

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