Employees at a hotel in Apple Valley recently fell victim to a Bitcoin scam, albeit the thieves were only able to get away with $316.
Apple Valley police says one of the scammers purported to be in charge of the chain that owns the hotel – which has not been identified – called an employee and said he was sending a shipment of fire extinguishers to the Apple Valley location.
Staff were told to expect the shipment, but the hotel had to pay $5,000 to FedEx for the shipping costs, with a woman then joining the call claiming to be from FedEx to confirm the sum.
The hotel was told if the fee wasn’t paid, an additional $5,000 penalty would be levied.
A staffer was told to check the hotel’s safe for the money to pay for the delivery, but there was only $316 inside. The worker was then told to go to a nearby Bitcoin machine and send the $316 via the terminal.
The employee realized it was a scam when the fire extinguishers never arrived, with police receiving a report of the scheme on Dec. 19.
Apple Valley PD says an investigation determined that the money had been sent through Bitcoin to Mexico, and as such it’s not recoverable.
CNBC previously reported that cryptocurrency scammers stole more than $14 billion in 2021.
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