The Lethbridge Police Service says there is a rise in crime related to cryptocurrency related-fraud here in our city. In Lethbridge alone, 18 victims have been defrauded of over $800,000. Some of these are investment scams where the criminals gain the trust of victims by showing profits of 100 to 500 per cent. Additional scams involve social media platforms, and texts and calls where victims are told they owe money to the Canadian Revenue Service and have warrants for their arrest. Victims are told to transfer cryptocurrency to solve the problem. The LPS has tips you can use to protect yourself if you encounter one of these scams.
How to protect yourself:
- Be careful when sending cryptocurrency. Once the transaction is completed, it is unlikely to be reversed.
- Be wary of online and social media advertisements promising returns on crypto assets and be suspicious if you are contacted out of the blue and offered an investment opportunity. Receiving a random/unsolicited, text, call or social media message about a lucrative investment opportunity should not be the starting point in which you invest or provide funds.
- Conduct your own research and ensure you know who you are dealing with. Retain your cryptocurrency with well-known and reputable exchanges.
- Using a decentralized platform or a company outside of Canada may carry certain risks – such as the ability for authorities to conduct any follow up. Be sure you understand what risks you may be taking so an informed decision can be made. Do not blindly invest because of a fear of missing out.
- Use strong and unique passwords for different online accounts. In the case of a data breach, fraudsters may try using credential stuffing tactics to access your cryptocurrency wallet.
- Consider using multi-factor authentication to secure your accounts and authorize transactions.
- Recognize the warning signs of common scams. For example, police or government authorities will not request your banking details and you cannot have an arrest warrant vacated by sending money, gift cards or cryptocurrency.
- When in doubt hang up, don’t click any links and don’t respond to any messages. Contact the business, government agency, or person directly – from a known source or by looking up the number/contact information online, from the legitimate website.
For more information about these scams you can visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website https://antifraudcentre-centreantifra…