Alberta Police in Canada Issue Latest Public Warning About Bitcoin Scams and Crypto Schemes
Crypto-hackers are the latest example of technology hackers to hit the mainstream. From South Korea to Great Britain, crypto-hackers have even gone so far as to hold government entities hostage to their bitcoin demands. Even internationally recognizable namesakes like Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled have gotten themselves caught up in the fray.
But recently, Canadian police have issued a warning to the public about consumer targeted scams involving bitcoins.
Canadian Police Warnings
Edmonton, Alberta saw a warning from police Wednesday about the rise in crypto scammers and the need to remain vigilant as a micro-investor.
Constable Tuyen Nguyen of the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) had this to say:
“What has evolved is the method of payment demanded by fraudsters. While gift cards were once the preferred payment of choice, fraudsters are now increasing demanding payments in other forms such as bitcoins and e-transfers.”
Police also mentioned the dramatic rise of identity theft and fraud cases in recent years; between 2013 and 2017, there was an increase of almost 90% and 2018 saw an increase of almost 10% alone.
Crypto ATM Machines- A Special Kind of Scam
One of the most effective strategies being employed by crypto scammers is standing near crypto ATM machines and threatening to arrest victims in order to get them to convert their cash into Bitcoin, making it extremely difficult to track.
“It's a very hard fraud to investigate, given that (bitcoin is the currency of choice). After the money has been transferred, we can't freeze the funds that are in the machine because it's already been converted,” Constable Kyle Pepper told reporters at Wednesday’s news conference. “It has nothing to do with the owners of the machines, it's just the way cryptocurrency works. It's unfortunate. There's been a lot of people that have lost a lot of money.”
As a part of EPS’ new awareness campaign, a series of adverts and a brochure are being created in multiple languages to actively inform and remind all residents to be wary of Bitcoin scams as a pre-emptive strike to help lessen the escalation of these problems.