Calgary has witnessed a noticeable uptick in crypto-related fraudulent activities. These developments lead to substantial financial losses among the populace. The Calgary Police Service (CPS) recently sounded the alarm, urging residents to exercise utmost caution when venturing into crypto investments. The pressing concern stems from a startling revelation that Calgarians have predominantly lost over $22 million to investment scams.
Escalating Concerns Amid Underreported Calgary Cases
Authorities are grappling with the extent of crypto scams, which remain significantly underreported despite the glaring figures. The true scale of the losses is believed to be higher, painting a grim picture of the scam landscape in Calgary, Alberta. The CPS report indicates a rise in such fraudulent activities, with losses soaring from approximately $14 million in 2022 to $22.5 million in 2023.
In retrospect, 2022 saw 321 reported incidents of cryptocurrency scams in Calgary, ascending to 340 cases in 2023 thus far. This increase underscores the escalating problem, yet the police contend that these figures merely scratch the surface, hinting at a much larger problem.
The CPS emphasizes a common thread among these scams: deceitful promises of exorbitant returns on crypto investments. Such hyperbolic promises should serve as red flags to prospective investors. The police elucidate that it’s predominantly fraudsters who dangle the carrot of astronomical profits to ensnare unwitting individuals.
Moreover, a noteworthy concern is scammers’ impersonation of legitimate entities to trick investors. They exploit the trust vested in reputable companies in Calgary to execute their fraudulent schemes seamlessly.
Government Agencies: A Call for Vigilance
Adding to the narrative, Calgary authorities have clarified that government agencies will never demand full payment via phone calls. Moreover, they have no ties to cryptocurrency nor engage in threatening behavior. They have implored residents to report any semblance of suspicious activity promptly.
Staff Sergeant Graeme Smiley of the CPS Cyber Forensics Unit stressed the importance of awareness among citizens. While acknowledging the legitimate uses of cryptocurrency, he pointed out the common bait used by fraudsters: the allure of quick money. Thankfully, establishing the Blockchain Investigative Team showcases a proactive step towards curbing these crypto scams.
A recent Toronto Metropolitan University’s Dais survey sheds light on the nationwide crypto fraud scenario. It unveils that about one-third of crypto holders in Canada, translating to around 35%, have been victims of crypto fraud. Additionally, 50% of Canadian respondents expressed low trust in crypto exchanges, illuminating the prevailing skepticism.
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