Canadian police have warned the public about getting caught up in Bitcoin scams and to exercise some caution when investing their money in cryptocurrency.
It has been an interesting year for crypto scams and controversies with some of the most famous names in the world such as Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled getting caught up in the affray. However, it is the online crypto-hackers you have to watch.
The police in Edmonton, Alberta, have warned their local populous in regards to the rise in Bitcoin scams that are using sophisticated methods to part potential investors and their cash. Edmonton Police informed the public on Wednesday that crypto scammers are using more unique ways than ever before so investors need to remain vigilant.
The police mentioned in their statement that reported cases of identity theft and fraud have dramatically risen between 2013 and 2017 by almost 90% with an increase of nearly 10% in 2018 alone.
While cash and gift cards were the main avenues of online fraudsters in recent years, the growing trend of Bitcoin scams shows that crypto is now the currency of choice for modern-day crypto-hackers.
Constable Tuyen Nguyen of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) outlined some of the problems that potential crypto investors face by saying:
“What has evolved is the method of payment demanded by fraudsters. While gift cards were once the preferred payment of choice, fraudsters are now increasingly demanding payment in other forms such as bitcoin and e-transfers.”
One of the main lines of attack from crypto scammers is to audaciously act as police officers and even tax collectors to strong-arm victims to convert their cash into Bitcoin at crypto ATM machines. One the cash has been converted into Bitcoin it is extremely difficult for authorities to track down the assailants.
Constable Kyle Pepper of the EPS has warned that some Edmonton inhabitants have already lost money in this type of scam. He told reports on Wednesday:
“It’s a very hard fraud to investigate given that after the money has been transferred, we can’t freeze the funds that are in the machine because it’s already been converted. It’s unfortunate. There’s been a lot of people that have lost a lot of money.”
The Edmonton Police Service are currently creating a brochure and adverts to inform local residents of the potential Bitcoin scams across multiple languages to help tackle the ongoing problems.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
Last modified: December 15, 2018 11:43 UTC