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Virtual Currency Schemes


Mollie Halpern: The FBI says as the use of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, becomes more popular, criminals and hackers are devising new schemes to cheat victims around the globe out of millions of dollars. The number of virtual currency schemes reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2014 more than doubled than the year before. FBI’s Tony Yurkovich explains one of the schemes.

Tony Yurkovich: If your computer is infected and your system is basically locked down with malware, a lot of times, the people that are behind that will charge in virtual currency to decrypt your system.

Halpern: Another scheme involves virtual currency investment programs where promises of high returns on investments are made—but never delivered.

Yurkovich: A lot of those are just fraudulent, they basically take your money and that’s it.

Halpern: Investigators are also seeing schemes involving the buying and selling of virtual currency.

Yurkovich: They've got your Bitcoins. They pull back the payment, so you're basically out everything.

Halpern: Although virtual currency is not inherently nefarious, the FBI says users should educate themselves about its risks. Yurkovich also says to practice Internet safety such as using anti-virus and Internet security programs installed on your computer.

Yurkovich: Make sure those are always up to date.

Halpern: Report Internet-enabled crimes to www.ic3.gov. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.


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