To whom it may regard,
My name is Alan Gurevich and I’m the CTO at GPD Holdings, LLC, the company the operates the network of CoinFlip cryptocurrency ATMs.
Recently you posted a story ( https://thelakewoodscoop.com/2019/03/frightening-young-lakewood-woman-loses-nearly-all-her-money-to-scam-photos-audio.html#more-200880 ) regarding a woman that was scammed in Lakewood, NJ, by a group claiming to be the US Marshal’s Service, threatening to arrest her if she didn’t pay them immediately. From our experience, these scams usually target victims and tell them their social security number was used in some sort of illegal manner, and then threaten arrest, deportation, or other things to coerce money out of them. Usually they (scammers) use mediums such as gift cards to extort money from the victim, but as cryptocurrency becomes more relevant, scammers have shifted their strategy to have victims use online cryptocurrency exchanges or physical cryptocurrency kiosks.
Our service provides people with a way to purchase various cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, with cash, at our automated kiosks. The way the process works is a customer would scan their crypto wallet at our machine, insert cash, press “Buy” and the funds then leave our digital wallet and is sent to the crypto wallet that the customer scanned at the terminal. Once those funds (the cryptocurrency purchased) leave our digital wallet and is sent to the destination wallet the user inputted, cryptocurrency protocols do not allow for transactions to be reversed. Cryptocurrency wallets themselves are just a string of letters and numbers, and do not have any publicly viewable personal identifying information attached to them.
We’d like to shed some clarification on some of our anti-scam policies and warnings that we display to people using our terminals to prevent this type of scam from happening. All CoinFlip terminals have a warning message that is displayed on the screen for a set period of time that customers have to look at before they are able to insert any cash into the terminal. While this specific situation is very unfortunate, we do provide ample warnings for people using our terminals to prevent this type of scam. Our warning message is even displayed for multiple seconds before the user can continue on to make any sort of purchase or insert cash.
I’ve attached a picture as well as a video of what the warning process looks like at any of our terminals. While we state “Have you been sent to this ATM to make a payment for ANYTHING“, we also explicitly state “SSN fraud” which was the exact scam this specific person was targeted with. In almost all situations, this message has stopped the majority of scams from occurring, but unfortunately, the victim in this situation most likely did not read the message at all. If you have any additional questions, or need additional clarification on our anti-scam policies and warnings, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly (cell below).