In a new instance of bitcoin negatively affecting consumers, the old-school Canadian Revenue Scam using the high-tech currency has scammed 40 new victims.
Police in York Region said 40 victims in the community have sent more than $300,000 to fraudsters using Bitcoin machines.
Officers said the victims have been contacted by phone and told that they have overdue taxes to pay and if they don’t, they will be arrested. In the recent cases, the victims have been told to send their money using Bitcoin ATMs.
Bitcoin is an international currency that unfortunately has no specific regulations as to how it can be used, opening up opportunities for fraudsters to use it for criminal means. It’s practically impossible for victims to get their money back once its been transferred to a “virtual wallet.”
Police said the transactions are also untraceable, which makes the investigation particularly challenging.
Officials want to remind the public that police do not arrest people for overdue taxes and doesn’t participate in tax collecting of any kind.
Police are asking anyone who has been a victim of a fraud, and have lost money, to report the incident to the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit at 1-866-876-5423 (ext. 6612). To report frauds where no money has been lost, contact the the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
Read the full story over at City News.