Frauds using cryptocurrencies are going rampant in Canada as the number of victims in the country went up by 400 percent between 2017 and 2020.
“Cryptocurrency fraud is increasing dramatically in Canada, with a difference of more than 400 percent between 2017 and 2020,” said Sgt. Kris Clark, a federal officer at the serious and organized crime department, RCMP.
Additionally, he revealed that Canadians lost CAD 11 million (around $8.73 million) to various cryptocurrency scams in the first eight months of last year.
The prices of cryptocurrencies skyrocketed in recent years, and so is the demand for them among retail investors. Scammers around the world are using various tactics to siphon money from vulnerable groups.
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Finance Magnates recently reported that residents in the Canadian city of Vancouver lost nearly $2 million in crypto-related scams in a week.
“They will often pressure the target, or threaten with extortion or violence, in order to get them to pay quickly,” said Sgt. Clark. “They will often identify themselves as a government official or police officer to increase the level of jeopardy if immediate action is not taken by the target to pay.”
People Must Be Aware
Moreover, he advised people not to provide personal information under any circumstances and to verify the legitimacy of organizations before dealing with them.
“It is important to understand that Canadian government agencies or police do not demand payment through the exchange of cryptocurrency,” Sgt. Raju Mitra, a BC RCMP federal policing prevention and engagement officer, added. “Also, even urgent demands by legitimate agencies will provide convenient, secure options and reasonable time to pay.”
While scammers are going rampant, law enforcement is also performing strongly against them. The neighboring US has indicted several criminals who dupped victims out of tens of millions of dollars in various crypto scams.