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BBB warns about hype, risk of cryptocurrency

Headlines touting quick and high returns for cryptocurrency investments can be a burning temptation. But just as common are reports of major losses, criminal activity and a new, wide-open playground for scammers.

Anyone can get in the crypto game today; buying or selling through kiosks at local malls, gas stations, mini marts and pawn shops. Easy to get in, easy to lose your shirt. Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific is taking this opportunity during Cybersecurity Month to warn potential investors of the high risks associated with crypto.

“Cryptocurrency is becoming a market force as a new resource for investing and transferring money,” said BBBNW+P CEO Tyler Andrew. “It also has the potential for significant loss, and so BBB advises consumers to be cautious.”

Cryptocurrency is digital code, not backed by any government entity. It is not legal tender and not widely accepted at this time. Crypto is not FDIC insured, so the value and your money are not protected.

Better Business Bureau recommends some basic precautions:

Consumers should be aware:

Cryptocurrency does not have legal protection, unlike credit or debit card transactions that can be disputed.
Though transactions are anonymous, they may be recorded on public ledgers ultimately leader potential scammers to consumers personal information.
Once you’ve paid, the money is gone as transactions are not reversible.

Potential Investors should:

Be suspicious of unregulated brokers and exchanges which offer too-good-to-be-true returns, charge high fees or keep your money.
Crypto value can change by the hour so an investment worth thousands one day might be worth just hundreds the next.
Cryptocurrency investing is speculative and high risk; only invest what you can afford to lose.

Throughout the month of October, BBB will release cyber safety tips and articles to help consumers and businesses stay vigilant. Articles and a cybersecurity toolkit for small businesses can be found at www.BBB.org/BBBSecure.

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ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including BBB Northwest & Pacific, which serves more than 15 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Hawaii and Western Wyoming.

KTVZ 2019

KTVZ News Team

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