According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, citizens of the great white north have been swindled out of more than $1.7 million via scams connected to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin this year, more than double the amount in 2016.
Anti-Fraud Centre says that’s more than five times the amount people lost to these types of scams in 2015, which was roughly $284,000. And as bitcoin becomes more popular with investors, sending the price above $17,000 US mark last week, criminals appear to be increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies to extort payment from their victims as well.
These new figures come after police in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario warned in recent months to beware of scams involving demands for a transfer of funds using bitcoin.
RCMP in Langley, B.C., last month said a woman received a call from what she believed was her husband’s cell phone and someone posing as a police officer, asking for bail to secure her spouse’s release.
Police said the woman followed the caller’s instructions and paid them $5,000 in bitcoin, before receiving a call from her husband who was sitting at home and never arrested in the first place.
Read the full story over at CBC News.
Read our previous cryptocurrency article here.