A general warning has been raised to residents of Waterloo in Ontario Canada following an estimated $430,000 aggregated loss in crypto scams.
Tallying a total of 78 resident since the beginning of 2020, the July figures of victims has climbed up to 29 for July alone.
Waterloo, Ontario, is the first Canadian city to issue a general warning after crypto scammers duped 78 residents in 2020.
Police say that fraudsters have been imitating government officials, phoning victims to deposit money in various Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs. Otherwise, they will be threatened to be sued with legal cases for disobedience.
Scammers told one resident that more than 25 bank accounts had been opened under his name, and then used to launder money. He was instructed to deposit over CAD 10,000 in various BTC cash machines to resolve a fake legal warning related to the supposed allegations.
HOW DID THEY DO IT?
Various testimonies from residents vary on how the cybercrmininals duped them.
Scammers urged one resident to deposit money over CAD 10,000 in BTC cash machines after there was an attempt to open 25 accounts under his name and tried to “launder” money. This move was, according to them, was a resolution to a fake legal warning arising from these claims.
Another victim was said to have compromised Social Insurance Number (SIN) had been compromised. In contrast, in others, they were advised to pay the debt owing to the CRA or Service Canada.
What’s familiar with these people is they are asked to confirm personal and financial information, including their SIN.
Then, victims are instructed to proceed to their bank, withdraw funds, and create Bitcoin funds. The scammer will attempt to have the victim on the call so they can get the victim to manage several different Bitcoin locations to make deposits.
All these will be done when the victim is alone, far from the knowledge of any family member or friends.
This alarming escalation of figures pushed the Waterloo Regional Police Service to initiate a “Fraud Awareness” campaign to mitigate risks and prevent people from falling victim to these scams.
According to Jeff Thomson, senior intelligence analyst of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, “we did see a dip in these calls through April and May, but as things have come back online, we’ve seen a great increase in scam calls.”
Nevertheless, he clarified that not all people fell prey to these rip-offs. Others were halted from engaging with these criminals.
Also, Thomson revealed that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is working to trace the calls of the scammers.
In the meantime, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center also launched data related to Bitcoin-related telephone scams, confirming the authority’s findings.
From January to July 2020 alone, the center recorded 23,655 reports of fraudsters calling victims to ask for Bitcoin payments.
With this, Waterloo, Ontario, is the first Canadian city to issue a general warning for this.
To prevent this from happening, the police are encouraging the people to be vigilant of calls and make sure it verifies information as they were being asked to deal with businesses, government corporation and the like
Among the pieces of advice they gave is: call you and ask for personal information, while threatening to arrest you if you do not comply, negotiate payments over the phone and accept Bitcoin as payment.