Crypto Scammers Are Pretending to Be Part of Best Buy's Geek Squad

Crypto Scammers Are Pretending to Be Part of Best Buy's Geek Squad

May 11, 2023

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Crypto scammers have a new way of getting money out of their intended victims. They are now pretending to be members of Best Buy’s infamous Geek Squad team. You know… The alleged computer geniuses that know everything about fixing your laptop or desktop.

Is That the Real Geek Squad Contacting You?

This was recently witnessed in a recent situation involving a woman living in Woodbury. In her inbox on Valentine’s Day last year, she received an email from Geek Squad saying her account would be renewed, and that she was going to be charged $1,145. Not thinking much of the email (she had a legitimate Geek Squad account), she ignored it at first, though she took note of the later verbiage that said if she was interested in cancelling, she had roughly 48 hours to do so.

The woman – who remains unnamed at the time of writing – stated:

Years ago, we had a service contract with Geek Squad, so I didn’t think much about it. The email said if I didn’t want to renew, I had 48 hours to cancel it, but that 48-hour period had already passed.

While details are scarce at this time, she called the phone number listed on what turned out to be a fake invoice and said she wanted to end her account. The man on the other side of the call said he could take care of everything for her, though the situation escalated, and on many occasions, she was required to travel to a nearby bitcoin ATM to make transfers of anywhere between $7,000 and $8,000. Overall, the 78-year-old victim was cheated out of $70,000. She said:

By the end, they had me so wrapped up and so scared and intimidated that I probably would have sold my house. It’s just crazy.

Lynn Lawrence – a Woodbury police detective – commented on the situation, saying:

It’s sad, but there’s not much we can do. The money is gone within seconds, and once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back… It’s much different if we have a victim who has transferred money from one bank account to another bank account. Sometimes we can intercept those funds with the receiving bank and stop that kind of stuff, but with bitcoin, we don’t have those abilities, so really prevention and education are our only options at this point.

No Way to Track Things

Marty Fleischhacker – senior financial fraud ombudsman for the Minnesota Department of Commerce – also threw his two cents into the mix, mentioning:

The thing about cryptocurrency is you really can’t trace it, so you have no real ability to find the perpetrators at any point by following the money trail, so how do you stop it? That’s the problem… The old saying used to be, ‘Trust, but verify.’ Now it’s, ‘Verify before you trust.’

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