Canadian police in the municipality of Durham have issued a notice late last week warning the public about new fraudulent schemes involving bitcoin.
According to a notice posted last week, the Durham Regional Police have been receiving a growing number of reports by Durham residents about fraudulent schemes based on bitcoin.
The scam involves fraudsters selling a money-spinning opportunity to victims with transactions involving the purchase and transfer of bitcoins through fraudulent cheques.
An excerpt from the public warning explains:
Residents have reported being contacted by fraudsters after applying for jobs or responding to ads online involving a promise to make money. The fraudsters send cheques to the victims and ask them to use the money to purchase Bitcoins–a virtual currency used globally.
The scam takes shape when victims deposit the cheque or e-transfer the amount into their accounts, prior to buying and depositing bitcoin into the fraudsters’ account. Their incentive is a portion of the money sent to them via the cheque. Inevitably, after victims buy bitcoins with their own money, the fraudulent cheque or e-transfer bounces.
The regional police have not revealed any details or figures as to the number of victims falling prey to the scam. However, these scams have resulted in the loss of “several thousands of dollars” among victims in the Durham region, according to the law enforcement agency.
Bitcoin scams have also reportedly taken shape in revenue agency scams where fraudsters purport to be government employees to ask for income tax payments, although no details have been revealed.
Police are also urging victims who have lost money to such scams to call in. The authority is also reminding residents to discuss the information with “seniors or other vulnerable people” who do not have access to the warning on the internet.
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