New scam claims victim is being investigated for PPP fraud, must send crypto to lift warrants

22 February 2024- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania is alerting the public about a nationwide scam to trick unsuspecting individuals into paying cryptocurrency to lift non-existent arrest warrants.  

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, targets of the scam have received forged court documentation stating that they are being investigated for Payroll Protection Program (PPP) fraud and are the subject of an arrest warrant.  The documents often claim to have been sent on behalf of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch. 

Additional documents sent by scammers advise the recipient that to lift the arrest warrant, the recipient must make a payment through a cryptocurrency kiosk, such as Coinflip (a Bitcoin kiosk).  The documents contain detailed instructions on how to use a cryptocurrency kiosk to send payment.

The United States Attorney’s Office is warning the public that these solicitations are unapproved and illegitimate.  If you receive solicitations to lift an arrest warrant in exchange for cryptocurrency payments, you should not respond or follow those instructions. 

Please report these scams to law enforcement by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721, or by submission to the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form. You also may report the scam to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at: https://www.ic3.gov/.