Canadian Police have sent out a warning to citizens over the development of a Bitcoin scam in which attackers impersonate officers of the Canada Revenue Agency.
According to an announcement published earlier this week, the Canadian police claimed that the scam seems to be targeted at citizens of the Barrie area, and has already milked two citizens off a total of CAD $25,000 (about $18,764).
Officers believe that the scammers present themselves in a wide array of ways, but the modus operandi is usually the victim receiving a phone call and being involved that they owed money as a result of a recent review that was carried out on their tax returns.
Police added that the fraudulent caller tells the victims that failure to pay their cash will result in a visit from their local law enforcement and possible jail term.
Then, the caller reportedly identifies methods through which the victims can rectify their “under-payment.” These methods usually involve Bitcoin or Google Play Cards, so police officials counsel that if anyone gets such a call and hears any of these words, they should just go ahead and hang up.
A crypto crime problem
It’s rather interesting that Canada is beginning to attract Bitcoin and cryptocurrency criminals. Apart from the current issues that the country’s crypto space seems to be having with the sudden death of crypto exchange QuadrigaCX’s founder Gerald Cotton (And the resulting $150 million in crypto that has remained inaccessible since then), scammers seem to have found more of a haven in Canada.
A few days ago, Karanjit Singh Khatkar, a Canadian man who was reported to have conned an Oregonian woman out of about $230,000 worth of Bitcoin, was apprehended and locked up in a bid to keep him from going back to his home country.
According to a news report from Oregon Live, United States Attorney Quinn Harrington revealed that Khatkar had scammed the woman by creating a fake Twitter account and impersonating a Bitcoin exchange. The victim was summarily tricked into contacting him when she had issues accessing her account. She provided him her details, and he went on to loot her funds. Armed with the funds, he reportedly contacted his brother and counseled that he should stay in Canada, so he could delay (Or even completely avoid justice).
Bitcoin scams on the rise
As well as these scams have surged a number of bitcoin robot scams such as the Bitcoin Revolution fraud which claim to make users thousands of dollars with a small investment of $250. These supposedly algorithmic trading software claim to have an accuracy percentage of over 90% and promise guaranteed profits in their get rich quick money schemes.
ATMs aren’t safe either
It is possible that the regulatory freedoms that Canada allows as regards cryptocurrencies are beginning to backfire. The relationship between the United States government and its crypto space is in murky waters for now, and given how relatively crypto-friendly Canada is, scammers would e more comfortable with operating there.
The country also has some work to do concerning the crypto-related innovations being developed and their potential for hazardous use. Police warned back in August that scammers in Winnipeg have been using Bitcoin ATMs in their operations. Per their release, scammers could attach notices on the ATMs, claiming that they are undergoing a software update. Due to this, users should use a QR code as opposed to depositing heir coins into wallets.
These issues only underscore a possible epidemic that could draw negative sentiment towards cryptocurrencies. Progressive action is required if it is to be contained.