According to a media report in Canada, a woman in North Delta, British Columbia, lost over $10,000 in Bitcoin to scammers pretending to be the local police department. The report claims that on March 4, 2020, scammers called her and claimed to be from Service Canada. They told her that her social insurance number had been illegally obtained and used in a drug trafficking scheme.
The Bitcoin Scam
She was then told that there was an arrest warrant out for her arrest. If she wanted to clear up her name, she would need to deposit funds in a Bitcoin account. To make it seem as if the call was being sent from the local police department’s non-emergency number, the scammer used simple spoofing technology. According to Staff Sgt. Brian Hill of the North Delta Police Department, this is a common tactic used by criminals.
According to the police, the scammers were very convincing and they persuaded the woman to do as they had instructed her. The scammer remained on the phone with the woman as she made several withdrawals at her local bank and deposited the funds in local BTC ATMs. To keep the scam going, the scammers made several threats and told the lady she must not inform anyone else of what she was doing, not even her daughter, who had become suspicious of what the lady was doing.
However, the daughter called the police department and the police caught up with the woman as she was about to deposit another $2000 in a local Bitcoin ATM. Since the money was sent to a BTC account, the local police are unable to trace the funds.
Police Do Threaten People
Staff Sgt. Hill told a local media outlet that people should be warned. The police would never make a call and threaten anyone with arrest, and then ask him or her to pay in BTC to avoid being arrested. Interestingly, this scam took place in March, which is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. In 2019, Canadian citizens lost more than $98 million to fraudsters. The police believe that one of the best ways to fight against scammers is to create fraud awareness.
Fraud Prevention Guidelines in Canada
In Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is tasked with collecting data and criminal intelligence on fraudulent activity. This includes telemarketing scams, internet fraud, identity theft, advanced fee fraud, and other types of fraud. The center often publishes data on the most recent type of fraud on its site. Besides that, they have a toll-free hotline where you can call if you have a tip or you feel you are about to be scammed.
Another agency that publishes information on fraud is the Competition Bureau of Canada. It regularly updates its Little Book of Scams, which is an important resource on how to tell if you are being scammed. The book is offered in English, French, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Tagalog, and Punjabi. If you ever feel like you are about to be scammed, always contact the authorities first or conduct some research online.
Image Source: Pixabay