Victims lose $50K in bitcoin scam in Melbourne's west

Victims lose $50K in bitcoin scam in Melbourne's west

A year ago a warning was added to iTunes cards and major Australian retailers also posted signs alerting people to the scam.

Victorians have been warned against a cryptocurrency scam after fraudsters posing as debt collectors convinced victims to deposit more than $50,000 into a bitcoin ATM. According to detectives at Maribyrnong Crime Investigation Unit, all the victims hail from Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

The victims are told to take money from their bank account and pay it into an account at a bitcoin ATM in Braybrook. It wasn't quite clear why the criminals chose the ATM in Braybrook given that there are about 21 bitcoin ATMs in Melbourne.

The code was provided to people who were asked to deposit money into this Bitcoin account.

"Cryptocurrency operates in a virtual world, and once the scammers receive payment, it's virtually impossible to get it back", ATO assistant commissioner Kath Anderson said in March.

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Based on a report from the Maribyrnong Crime Investigation Unit, these victims are being cajoled into making these deposits, in order to offset their tax debt.

Today, The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that at least four people have been victimized by a crypto scam that targets people who have immigrated to the country.

"We believe that there are several victims who did not report this for one reason or another, they may be here with visas or they don't know that the authorities will never tell them to deposit money in an ATM", the acting detective says Sergeant Lehpamer.

There were two reasons identified to be the cause of them not reporting, one being the fact that majority have expired VISA and the second one being that they were unaware of the fact that the authorities would never ask them to deposit cash into ATM's. As previously reported by CCN, the accepted methods of paying taxes in Australia include electronic bill payment platform BPAY or credit-debit cards besides alternative methods such as wire transfer and direct debit.

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