Scams in the cryptocurrency world are unfortunately all too common, and some of them are especially audacious and costly. Recently, a resident of Renfrew County in Ontario, Canada, fell victim to one such scam, losing a staggering $50,000. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced the incident, shedding light on the modus operandi of the scammers, who impersonated government agencies and even the police themselves.
According to a report by CityNews Ottawa, the victim received multiple spoofed phone calls. The callers claimed to represent various federal agencies and the police, informing the victim of a problem that required them to convert money to Bitcoin and send it to them using a Bitcoin ATM. The exact pretext used by the scammers in this case was not specified in the report, but it warned people to be cautious of calls that claim problems with their Social Insurance Number (SIN) or intercepted packages addressed to them.
The report emphasizes the grave mistake of converting funds and sending them to unknown parties claiming to be law enforcement via a Bitcoin ATM. It also warns that a government agency will never call someone to inform them about a SIN hacking.
While the Renfrew County victim lost a significant portion of their life savings, it is not the costliest cryptocurrency scam targeting a Canadian resident in recent times. In April, it was revealed that a British Columbia resident had lost over $7.5 million. This scam followed a familiar pattern known as the “pig butchering” scam, where the bad actors build trust over time before encouraging the victim to trade crypto through a fraudulent app. When the victim encountered difficulties in withdrawing their investment, another scammer offered to help, but instead took even more money.
The problem of cryptocurrency scams in Canada is growing, and it is tarnishing the image of digital currencies in the country. Official figures show that losses from these types of schemes reached $24 million in Canada in 2022.
Unfortunately, scams like these highlight the need for individuals to be cautious and vigilant when dealing with cryptocurrency. It is important to verify the authenticity of calls and messages claiming to be from government agencies or law enforcement. Additionally, individuals should exercise caution when using Bitcoin ATMs and ensure they are dealing with reputable sources. Taking these precautions can help protect potential victims from falling into the traps set by crypto scammers.
As the cryptocurrency industry continues to strive for mainstream adoption in Canada, it is essential to address the issue of scams and work towards strengthening security measures. By raising awareness about these scams and promoting education about safe practices, the industry can better protect investors and consumers from falling victim to fraudulent schemes.
Disclaimer: This article is based on information from trusted sources but should not be considered as financial or investment advice. Readers are advised to verify facts independently and consult with professionals before making any decisions based on the content provided.