In the digital age, with the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, instances of scams have skyrocketed. Notably, Canadian residents have fallen prey to these deceiving tactics, with losses amounting to millions. Criminals now resort to using Bitcoin ATMs to con victims.
A Deceptive Call, A Hefty Loss
A particularly distressing case emerged from Renfrew County, Ontario. Here, an individual was duped into parting with $50,000. The trick? Perpetrators posed as government officials and even as the police. This alarming incident was brought to light by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
The scheme in Renfrew County is not a standalone incident. Earlier in April, a resident from British Columbia was conned out of a staggering $7.5 million. This considerable sum makes the scam stand out, but the tactic was unsettlingly familiar.
The fraudsters slowly gain the victim’s trust in these so-called “pig butchering” scams. They persuade the individual to trade cryptocurrencies through a counterfeit application. Only later, to the victim’s horror, do they realize the inability to reclaim their investment.
In the case of the British Columbia resident, an ensuing scammer promised assistance with the complex barriers in reclaiming the initial investment. However, this was just another deceitful ploy to extract more money. While it didn’t involve Bitcoin ATMs, the damage was still significant.
False Calls and Alarming Claims Involving Bitcoin ATMs
CityNews Ottawa chronicled an account of another victim who received a series of “spoofed phone calls.” These calls, under the guise of federal agencies or police representation, pushed the victim into a corner. They were instructed to convert funds into Bitcoin and use one of the city’s Bitcoin ATMs.
Although CityNews didn’t provide the exact scenario used by these swindlers, they issued a warning. They urged the public to remain skeptical of any call alleging issues with their Social Insurance Number (SIN) or mentioning intercepted packages. Moreover, agencies or police will never ask you to visit Bitcoin ATMs to send money.
Individuals must understand that legitimate government agencies will never contact them about a SIN breach. The public must remain vigilant. Converting funds and sending them via Bitcoin ATMs to so-called authorities, as seen in these cases, is a grave error. Any demand for payment from unidentified sources, especially over the phone claiming to be law enforcement, should be approached with skepticism.
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