PRICE, Utah – A Price woman shares her story after being scammed for hundreds of dollars in a cryptocurrency system.
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Crystal Racassi says a woman befriended her on Facebook and told her about a great opportunity to invest in Bitcoin.
“Facebook was actually how it all started, a girl reached out to me, started talking to me, it was like a friendship,” Racassi said.
Crystal was instructed by a UK company to put $ 300 into a cryptocurrency app, Coinbase. She did, and then sent those funds to the company. Not only did she never get the initial investment back, but she was asked to pay a fee to withdraw her money.
Racassi finally realized that she had been scammed.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are becoming more and more mainstream and for some has led to a big payday. As more and more people look to invest in digital currency, more and more cryptocurrency scams are on the rise.
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported earlier this year that it received nearly 7,000 complaints about cryptocurrency scams between October 2020 and March 2021, with reported losses of more than $ 80 million. The median loss for these reports was $ 1,900.
The FTC saw a 12-fold increase in cryptocurrency scam reports and nearly 1,000% more reported losses compared to the same time period the previous year.
The Mountain West division of the Better Business Bureau has recorded losses of $ 6,688 from consumers in Utah and northern Nevada since April.
“It’s a huge risk, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing or how cryptocurrency works. Over 1000 is what we see people investing, because they are told they can make huge returns on their investment, of course that’s not realistic but if you haven’t done your research you don’t know what to expect and what is fair and reasonable to assume, ”said Britta Clark of the BBB.
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An FBI report puts Utah at the top of the list of cybercrime victims per capita.
“They said the Utahns are actually more ripped off than anyone because of their trusting nature, I guess. Also, they lose about $ 10,000 apiece when they get ripped off, I don’t know about you but I don’t know anyone who can lose $ 10,000, you know? said Rod Buhlera, cybersecurity expert at Salt Lake Community College.
Racassi says she is not completely closed to cryptocurrency, but she has learned a valuable lesson.
“Yes, I will be extremely careful and do my research before I do anything else with anyone else.”
Clark echoed this advice, saying to do your research.
“1000 and up is what we see people investing, because they are told they can make huge returns on their investment, of course, that’s not realistic, but if you don’t not doing your research, you don’t know what to expect and what is fair and reasonable.
Cryptocurrency scams can be reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaints Center, BBB Scam Tracker, FTC, and Utah Attorney General.