Crypto ATMs: What to Know

Posted on 06/04/24

If you’re like most Americans, you walk right past a tool used to steal a reported $35 million from US consumers last year each time you go out for groceries.

Cryptocurrency ATMs are often colorful kiosks that are popping up in supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, liquor stores and even laundromats across the US. There are more than 49,000 crypto ATMs in the United States, up from only about 1,200 at the end of 2017.

Criminal scammers are always looking for the quickest way to get money from their victims. As awareness and protections around other payment methods increase, crypto ATMs have become their tool of choice. Because these kiosks look similar to regular ATM machines, they seem more legitimate to victims who are directed to them. The AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline has heard from countless victims who have been directed to insert thousands of dollars in cash into these machines to address an “urgent” financial matter.

While there are many different scams, there are only a handful of ways that criminals can get paid. If you are directed to a crypto ATM to address an urgent financial matter, it is a scam.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. You can also call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.

This story is provided by AARP South Dakota. Visit the AARP South Dakota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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