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Cryptocurrency fraud on the rise in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan RCMP noticed an increase in the number of cryptocurrency investigations last year, in two areas in particular.  Swift Current RCMP received 105 reports of people being victimized by fraudulent calls, many involving cryptocurrency.  In total, victims reported more than $361,000 in losses.

Maidstone RCMP received 37 reports of people being victimized for a total of more than $570,000 in cryptocurrency fraud losses.

Constable Tyson Maxwell is one of two Crypto Coordinators for the Saskatchewan RCMP.  He says, “Investigating cryptocurrency fraud is complex as perpetrators are often at various international locations or hiding through hard to trace IP addresses.”

Maxwell advises that once a crypto transaction has been completed, it can’t be reversed, and if the investment looks too good to be true, it probably is, so if you choose to invest, use a major reputable trading platform or online exchange and do your research to protect yourself.
More advice is with this story online.
(ct Jan23 23)

The scams have been reported to have taken place through the following tactics:
– Authoritative fraud: a scammer pretends to be from a government agency, like the CRA or police, and demands payments for outstanding taxes or warrants for arrests. The scammer instructs victims to go to a cryptocurrency ATM in the city to purchase and send cryptocurrency.
– A “learn to trade in crypto program”: involves a scammer demanding a victim to send money to be able to learn how to trade cryptocurrency and make money. The scammer tells the victim to either send more money since the first amount never arrived, or to pay to send learning materials through the mail for the learning program.
– False advertising: Other reports include scammers luring victims using investment opportunities for cryptocurrencies to make a profit by creating links on various social media advertisements to steal investments. Scammers entice victims to invest from their personal savings and restrict all access to their accounts. Scammers create a fraudulent company online, or compromise a victim’s digital wallet- resulting in a complete loss of funds.

Warning signs of cryptocurrency fraud:
Some warning signs of cryptocurrency fraud may include the following:
-investment opportunities with higher than normal returns                                                                                                                                                                                    – unsolicited telephone, email or social media investment offers
– displays of urgency so you don’t miss out
– suspicious messages from a trusted source, like a bank or family member, or
– cryptocurrency investments that are not registered with provincial or national securities regulators
– contact pages that include an illegitimate address

If you, or someone you know, fall victim to a fraud, report it to your local police department.  If you or a family member have been contacted by a scammer, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – even if you didn’t give them any money (antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/report-signalez-eng.htm or 1-888-495-8501).

If you or a family member did lose money as a result of fraud, please contact your local police as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/report-signalez-eng.htm or 1-888-495-8501).

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