As Canadians come into terms with the loss of over 1.5 million U.S dollars pocketed by scammers this year, the Police has continued to warm Canadians of the rise of bitcoin scammers. But, as it seems, the scammers are now upgrading and using crypto ATMs making it hard for the police to track and freeze the funds.
Const. Tuyen Nguyen, EPS [Edmonton Police Service] cyber-crimes investigation unit, said:
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.
The law enforcers have noted that the usage of crypto ATMs and other cryptocurrency machines has been the scammers’ latest tools of trade.
For them to successfully scam their victims, they are posing as police officers or official tax agents at the crypto ATMs. They then force their victims to convert their crypto into fiat.
Const. Kyle Pepper indicated that the fraud is very hard to investigate because:
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 nothing to do with the owners of the machines [crypto ATMs], it’s just the way cryptocurrency works. It’s unfortunate. There’s been a lot of people that have lost a lot of money.
According to the Edmonton police website, Canadians are advised that, whether it’s at crypto ATMs or by phone or Email, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will never use force, rude language, ask for your card information or for payments by prepaid credits cards, or ask for your personal information by email or text.
The Edmonton police adds that one way to protect yourself is by asking questions as a way of verifying what you are being told to do by text, Email, or at crypto ATMs.
Do you think foreigners are an easy target since they do not fully understand the regulations in their new territory?
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