Customers of companies providing electricity in the state of Hawaii, was attacked by scams that rely on the relative anonymity offered by cryptocurrency and demanded the victims ‘ Bitcoin for the repayment of a fictitious debt.
Fraudsters ring up customers of the firms associated with electricity, which includes Hawaii Electric Light, Maui Electric and Hawaiian Electric, claiming that they have overdue invoices. In addition, they reported that such clients is threatening immediate disconnection, if the accounts are not promptly paid using bitcoin.
Hundreds of dollars in Bitcoin already lost
According to the Khon 2 television station, reports of the Scam started appearing in the beginning of this month. In the framework of United Utilities Against Scams, a consortium of more than 100 power plants, natural gas storage and supply systems in the United States and Canada, so far reported about hundreds of fraudulent calls. On one of the Islands in Hawaii, Oahu, three companies have already been victims of fraud and ended up paying hundreds of dollars with the help of BitComet.
“The account was not overdue, but the scammers seemed so convincing that businessmen were willing to pay,” said Director of corporate communications, Hawaiian Electric Shannon Tangonan. “They actually went to bitcommet for identifying these scams and put cash in the machines.”
The modus operandi of the Scam involves the random selection of goals and the urge to panic and fear, supposedly they have no other choice. In some cases, the customers of the utility companies was sent the e-mails included with “notifications disabled”, which contained an obsolete form of one of the energy companies. The letter also contained a QR code that is designed to scan the bitcoin ATM.
The energy company, therefore, tried to inform their customers that they were vigilant, and not become victims of swindlers.
“This is just a new turn of events of recent fraud but we suggest to apply the same advice: just hang up. Whether it’s bitcoin, gift cards or money orders, our companies are not going to threaten you or to force in the rush to find a way to pay unknown charges,” said senior Vice President of Hawaiian Electric company, customer service, Jim Alberts.
The growth of the use of cryptocurrency scammers are increasingly turning to new technologies. For example, in the US system of financial precedents recently disclosed that she receives every month more than 1,500 suspicious complaints related to cryptocurrency. As reported by CCN, these reports of suspicious activity were mainly from companies in the monetary services cryptocore and other players in the financial sector.
Author: Olga Novikova, analyst Freedman Club Crypto News
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