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Bitcoin ATM Scammer Imitating Chase Bank Caught Red-Handed

Harvey Hunter
Last updated: | 2 min read
Bitcoin ATM Scammer Imitating Chase Bank Caught Red-Handed

A Texas police officer foiled an ongoing scam, rescuing an elderly woman duped into depositing $40,000 into a Bitcoin ATM by a Chace Bank impersonator.

On June 19, the White Settlement Police Department (WSPD) reported that officers successfully intercepted a Bitcoin ATM scam as it was unfolding.

According to the report, a concerned citizen alerted their dispatch center when they saw an elderly woman carrying a large sum depositing cash into a Bitcoin ATM.

Chief of Police Christopher Cook commended the citizen’s quick thinking, recognizing the “danger signs” of a scam after overhearing the woman’s phone conversation.

“We are extremely grateful for the citizen who recognized these danger signs and contacted us.”

Police Officer Catches Scammer In The Act

The WSPD reported that the suspect threatened the victim with arrest if she didn’t send the funds – a common tactic used by scammers engaged in pig butchering scams.

The scammer’s caller ID, displaying “Chase Bank,” lulled the victim into a false sense of security. This was just one element of an elaborate rouse, misrepresenting the scam as genuine.

The perpetrator also arranged for a ride service to pick up the woman, leading her to a local Chase Bank to withdraw the money. After that, the suspect led her to a convenience store with a Bitcoin ATM machine to deposit the funds.

In the dashcam footage released by the police department, an officer on the scene hijacked the conversation. Despite this, the Chase Bank impersonator tried to continue speaking with the “Customer” and complete the transaction, instructing the woman to “take the phone” from the officer.

While the intervention was successful, it did not come without losses. The victim had already deposited $23,900 into the ATM.

Authorities are currently collaborating with government officials to recover and return the funds to the victim.

Bitcoin ATM Numbers On The Rise Again

The global number of Bitcoin ATMs is rebounding after a sharp decline in May disrupted a 10-month expansion trend starting in July 2023. This decline was mainly due to the removal of over 300 ATMs in the United States, which constitutes more than 80% of the global market.

As of June 20th, this decline has been reversed, with an additional 93 ATMs installed across the US according to Coin ATM Radar data.

US Accumulated number of Bitcoin ATMs installed over months. Source: Coin ATM Radar.

Although this does not cover that lost during the decline, it is representative of renewed growth.

While the reasons for the May decline are unclear, law enforcement agencies in the US have been actively targeting ATMs used for illegal activities like extortion and scams.

Bitcoin ATM scams have become increasingly common in recent years, coinciding with the rise in Bitcoin usage. Last year, a major manufacturer, General Bytes, experienced a major security breach that resulted in the theft of $1.5 million worth of Bitcoin from its operators.

To learn how to use Bitcoin ATMs, refer to our 2024 Bitcoin ATM Guide.