SUDBURY — Police say that for at least the third time this year, someone has fallen victim to a Bitcoin scam in town.
On Wednesday afternoon, a Maynard woman was attempting to buy $10,000 of BItcoin from a Bitcoin ATM at Sudbury Sundries, 100 Boston Post Road (Route 20), police spokesman Lt. John Perodeau said Thursday.
“She got a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security and (they) told her there was a problem with her Social Security number,” he said. “In order to fix it, she had to send $10,000 via Bitcoin.”
The woman, whom Perodeau described as being a senior, had put $1,900 into the Bitcoin ATM when the machine stopped accepting money for an unknown reason.
“The clerk noticed what was happening and told her it was a scam and they should call police,” Perodeau said.
The woman had sent the code for the $1,900 to the scammer and is likely out of that money, but she retained another $8,100 that would have likely been lost. Perodeau said it’s common for scammers to ask for $10,000 initially, then seek more later.
This is the third time this year that police know of someone falling victim to a Bitcoin scam and using the ATM at Sudbury Sundries. In June, a Lincoln woman had purchased $30,000 worth of Bitcoin, but a clerk stopped her from sending the code because they recognized it as a scam.
Another person sent $50,000 in May. Police are hoping they can get the money back, Perodeau said.
A clerk who answered the phone Thursday at Sudbury Sundries referred quries to the store owner, who could not be reached.
Perodeau said people need to take care — no legitimate business or government agency would demand payment via Bitcoin or cold call someone demanding money.
“When you receive a call like this, call the police or call your bank with the phone number you previously had with them and confirm,” said Perodeau. “They will tell you it is a scam.”
Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or email@example.com. For up-to-date public safety news, follow Norman Miller on Twitter @Norman_MillerMW or on Facebook at facebook.com/NormanMillerCrime.