Bradenton woman loses $6,200 in Bitcoin scheme

BITCOIN 2


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Bradenton woman is sharing her story about a new scheme she fell for that left her out $6,200.

It’s a scheme law enforcement said is hitting the Tampa Bay area hard. It involves a Bitcoin machine, “government lockers” and thieves impersonating law enforcement.

Heather Burbach said the caller claimed to be a known investigator with the DEA and said she was in big trouble and listed charges like money laundering and drug trafficking. Then they pivoted and said her identity must have been stolen but the government could help protect her money until this was cleared up.

“He goes, ‘You’re going to think it’s weird but this is where we store money,’” Burbach said. “He issued a locker. It would be secured. They had me send a message to the attorney general who supposedly the attorney general who issued me a secure locker.”

She was instructed to withdraw all but $200 from her bank account, and take it to a bitcoin machine.

The crook stayed on the phone with with her until all of her $6,200 was inside the machine.
She said she was told her money would be protected in the “government locker” and released to her after she cleared her name in an upcoming court hearing.

“I was afraid to talk on the phone,” she said. “I went over to my sister’s house, as pale as a ghost saying I need to talk to a lawyer. I was afraid to talk to my sister. It was so emotional. My sister was finally able to get it out of me and said, ‘Heather, it’s a scam.’”

Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken went to the gas station Burbach went to, and inspected the Bitcoin machine.

There are several warnings on the screen about schemes just like this one. Burbach said she didn’t notice because the guy on the phone told her to walk up the machine and touch the screen right away.

She said she hopes others will hear this story and not fall for this.

The Bradenton Police Department confirmed they are investigating this case and several others like it. The clerk at the convenience store said he sees people with large amounts of money at this Bitcoin machine on a regular basis. He said he tries to warn them, but they don’t believe him and they are always on the phone with the person giving them these instructions.



This article was originally published by a www.wfla.com

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