Scam Artists Exploiting “North Dakota Nice”

BISMARCK, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – Several old scams are circulating once again in North Dakota, and they are catching people unaware, warned Attorney General Drew Wrigley.

The consumer protection division of the Attorney General’s office has seen a recent increase in reports from victims of imposter scams such as the “government official” and “computer virus warning” scams. The victims had been directed to withdraw cash from their bank and convert it into Bitcoin or cryptocurrency as part of the scam artist’s phony “investigation.” Some scam victims reported losses of tens of thousands of dollars before they realized they had been tricked.

Scam artists are turning to cryptocurrency because it is almost impossible to track the transactions, and the funds are instantly available from anywhere in the world.

“These scams continue to be successful because the fraudsters exploit our natural tendency to be cooperative; but if someone claiming to be a government official tells you to withdraw money from your accounts or purchase gift cards in order to avoid immediate arrest, I guarantee it is a scam,” said Attorney General Wrigley. “Furthermore, if you are instructed not to tell anyone about a requested transaction, that’s another sure sign of a scam.”

Several recent victims reported that they received a phone call supposedly from a Border Patrol officer claiming that the victim was under investigation for drug trafficking relating to a seized package of drugs addressed to the victim. The scam artists threatened victims by claiming they would be arrested immediately unless they cooperated with the caller. Call victims were instructed to keep quiet about, the “investigation,” and one victim was sent an electronic document that was falsely referred to as an arrest warrant. The victims were directed to withdraw large sums of money from their bank accounts, deposit the cash into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency machines, and send…

Read more at www.newsdakota.com

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