FBI warns Nebraskans, Iowans of bitcoin scam

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- The FBI is warning Nebraskans and Iowans of a bitcoin scam making the rounds.

Officials said they have received reports of suspicious emails and phone calls where the suspects demand that victims obtain and pay in bitcoin to avoid harm to them and their family. The FBI has determined there is no validity to threat to these emails and they are a scam.

Anyone who may have received one of these threats should contact IC3.gov to report any suspicious emails or phone calls.

"The FBI takes these allegations very seriously," Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kristi Johnson said in a statement. “We are aware of this situation and ask anyone who may be receiving this type of email to let us know through IC3.gov so we can properly handle it."

The FBI offers the following tips to protect against fraud:

- Never give out personal information to someone you did not initiate contact with.

- Before signing up for a contest or e-mail distribution list, make sure the business has a policy not to share your information or sell it to a third party.

- Be leery of anyone you did not initiate contact with who asks for payment using a third party such as MoneyGram or GreenDot prepaid cards.

- Scammers try to take advantage of trust, so take the time to verify the validity of any offer you receive.