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Crypto Scammers Posing as Microsoft Cybersecurity Team Bilk Victim Out of $35,000

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • An Ontario resident has lost a reported $35,000 in Bitcoin to fake Microsoft cybersecurity employees.
  • The fraudsters convinced the victim to download fake software, then demanded refund for an accidental payment.
  • If you're unsure of someone's credibility, don't send money, stop communication, and contact the company right away.
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A resident of Ontario, Canada, lost $35,000 in Bitcoin after scammers pretended to be working for tech giant Microsoft.

Fraud and theft in the crypto space never seem to wane and assume ever more devious forms. According to an August 9 CTV News report, the victim in this case sent the funds to the scammers after downloading and installing a fake firewall program.

Fake Microsoft Employee Demanded Payment in Bitcoin

This latest episode of crypto fraud began when the victim received a pop-up alert that appeared to be from Microsoft. The message said the victim’s computer was in need of an update and provided a phone number to call.

Once on the call, the scammers then told the individual that the computer’s firewall was out of date and required payment to process the update.

Sadly, the victim then purchased and installed the fake software. Then, the following day, another scammer posing as a member of Microsoft’s team requested control of their machine to confirm everything was well.

Learn how to protect yourself as you trade your digital assets: 15 Most Common Crypto Scams To Look Out For

Once in charge, the scammer then claimed he had inadvertently sent money to the victim’s account. The fraudster then demanded that the payment be sent back using Bitcoin. 

Police said the victim then transferred the fake Microsoft employee approximately $35,000 in Bitcoin (BTC). It is assumed that the scammer walked the victim through the entire process.

Source: Chainalysis.

Investigation Is Ongoing, Say Ontario Police

According to CTV’s sources, the investigation is ongoing. Very few details have emerged about the individual or the case in question. 

This scam differs notably from others BeInCrypto has reported on recently. For one thing, it happened over a period of days, rather than weeks or months. Often with scams involving crypto, victims are manipulated over a long period of time so that when the scammer finally requests funds, it appears rational, innocent, and sincere.

These longer-form scams, known as “pig butchering,” often take on a romantic element. In this case, the scammers clearly took advantage of the victim’s lack of technical knowledge and were able to execute the scam quickly.

In another recent case, crypto scammers posed as police officers and convinced the victim that legal fees were owed.

Remember: if in doubt about someone’s credibility, do not send funds, cease communication, and contact the company directly using its official contact details.

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Josh Adams
Josh is a reporter at BeInCrypto. He first worked as a journalist over a decade ago, initially covering music before moving into politics and current affairs. Josh first owned Bitcoin in 2014 and has followed the space ever since. He is particularly interested in Web3 adoption, policy and regulation, CBDCs, privacy, and the future of the metaverse.
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