Mansfield Woman Lost $5,500 in Bitcoin Fraud, Issues Warning

MANSFIELD, Ohio — Lois Guthery of Mansfield lost much of her confidence in trusting anyone after losing $5,500 in a cryptocurrency fraud last month.

Guthery said it started with an email she thought was from the Best Buy Geek Squad involving a service contract, but when she contacted the number in the email, the fake Geek clerk Squad told him he made a mistake by accidentally depositing $5,500 into his account. .

“And he’s like ‘oh my God, oh my God, if my manager finds out about this, I’m going to get fired, oh my God,'” Guthery said. “‘I need you to withdraw $5,500 now, go to your bank.’ I didn’t realize it until the bank told me that oh yeah, they transferred $1,800 from the savings to my checking.”

Antoine Garcia

Lois Guthery Issues Consumer Warning About Unsolicited Cryptocurrency Offers

Guthery told News 5 that she was then instructed to take the money to the Bitcoin depot at the Mansfield gas station and send the fake duty handler $5,500 in Bitcoin.

Ericka Dilworth, chief operating officer of the Cleveland Better Business Bureau, told News 5 that consumers should never provide personal information on a phone call they did not initiate. Dilworth said never give someone remote access to your computer unless you are absolutely sure who is getting access on the other end of the phone.

Dilworth said the BBB Scam Tracker indicates that cryptocurrency fraud has tripled in northeast Ohio in the past two years alone.

“Bitcoin is complicated to know about and even when you hear about it, it’s kind of an out-of-this-world concept,” Dilworth said. “She thought she was dealing with someone she could trust.”

Dilworth recommends that those who are still unsure of the validity of a call end it and call back a number that you know is correct for the person the caller claims to represent.

“You really should end the call and then call that person back at the number you know to be real. You know doing a transaction over the phone is extremely risky. There are very few situations where we would recommend you to ‘allow remote access to your computer, you just can’t trust it. It’s probably a stranger who wants access, it’s probably a scammer who wants access and you just can’t not trust that,” Dilworth said.

Meanwhile, Guthery issued his own warning.

“My $5,500, how disgusted am I? At the end of my limit,” Guthery said. “Anything I can do for number one, maybe capture them, and number two to raise awareness. Because I thought I was good enough to avoid that stuff, but they got me,” she said.

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