RCMP Warns Users As Cryptocurrency Fraud Calls Rise
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The Saskatchewan RCMP warns users as cryptocurrency fraud calls have increased since the start of 2023.

Swift Current and Maidstone RCMP detachments in a joint statement on Monday said they have received reports of more than 140 people falling victim to fraudulent calls, many involving cryptocurrency. According to reports more than $931,000 in cryptocurrency fraud losses.

According to Constable Tyson Maxwell one of two Crypto Coordinators for the Saskatchewan RCMP, under the Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit said, “There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency companies in the market today. Some are legitimate companies, while others may have weak online security or are completely fraudulent.”

He further added, “Investigating cryptocurrency fraud is complex as perpetrators are often at various international locations or hiding through hard to trace IP addresses.” 

Multiple departments and agencies may be required to investigate some cases, but the RCMP has the resources available to track and trace some transactions.

Maxwell said, “Once a crypto transaction has been completed, it cannot be reversed. If the investment looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you choose to invest, use a major reputable trading platform or online exchange and do your research to protect yourself.”

Maxwell also recommends individuals to monitor the price of cryptocurrency themselves on a reputable trading program. 

He explained “We have lots of investment scams, where the scammer says the victim made 20 per cent on their Ethereum investment for example – when they were actually going down 10 per cent. A good way to know if you’re being scammed is to verify through other sources what your investment company tells you.”

Scams Reported Using the below mentioned Tactics:

  • Authoritative fraud – A scammer pretends to be a government agency, such as the CRA or police, and asks for money to pay outstanding taxes or arrest warrants. They instruct victims to use a cryptocurrency ATM in the city to purchase and send cryptocurrency.
  • Learn to trade cryptocurrency program – The scammer demands money from the victim to teach them how to trade cryptocurrency. In the event that the first amount of money does not arrive, the scammer tells the victim to either send more money or pay for the program’s learning materials to be sent through the mail.
  • False Advertising – Scammers created links on social media ads to steal investments using investment opportunities for cryptocurrencies to entice victims. As a result of scammers’ attempts to create fake companies online or compromise victims’ digital wallets, they lose all access to their accounts. Scammers entice victims to invest from their personal savings and restrict access to their accounts.

Saskatchewan RCMP in a media release said, “Cryptocurrency is a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded, or transferred, and can be used for payment or investment purposes. It is protected by a form of encryption, known as cryptography, and relies on public and private keys to transfer value from one person (individual or entity) to another. Cryptocurrency can be used to purchase both legal and illegal goods and services.”

A sign of cryptocurrency fraud may be investment opportunities that are higher than normal, unsolicited telephone, email or social media investment offers, messages from a trusted source — such as a bank or family member — that are suspicious, cryptocurrency investments that aren’t registered with provincial or national securities regulators, or contact pages that have an illegitimate address.

Investigating cryptocurrency files is a joint effort between the Saskatchewan RCMP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Frauds should be reported to your local police department and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/report-signalez-eng.htm or 1-888-495-8501.

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