The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in El Paso has warned the city’s residents of a crypto scam that convinces targets to send cryptocurrency and other funds, under the guise that they have been victims of identity theft.
As reported by El Paso Times, the crypto scam distributes a letter made to look like an official FBI request to homes in the city. The letter attempts to convince readers it was sent by special agent John S. Morales, a legitimate FBI officer, by forging his signature.
The letter also includes capitalized phrases such as “UNCLASSIFED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY” and the address details of a real El Paso FBI branch to create a sense of legitimacy.
It tells the reader “you have successfully secured your Bank of America account that was under suspicion of US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL.” Then, after providing a fake confirmation number, it says to “contact your investigation officer for further assistance.”
This number is fake and when rung, scammers will guide victims to make either a fiat or crypto deposit onto a fake website controlled by the scammers.
Authorities discovered the scam after a resident of El Paso reported the letter to the FBI branch last week. It should be noted that the FBI does not write to, call, or email anyone with demands for crypto or fiat currency.
Other scams in El Paso have also spread, reportedly impersonating law enforcement, utility companies, and other government bodies.