A new tactic for scammers in Canada is to use Bitcoin ATMs to get victims to send large amounts of BTC to anonymous accounts.
Thieves impersonating government officials inform residents of defaulted bills and/or taxes. They then urge them to send the money via cryptocurrency using a nearby Bitcoin ATM. The scam is irreversible once the transaction hits the blockchain. Plus, the scammer can’t be tracked.
Canadian police have warned residents of North Delta especially as instances have risen in the region. However, it took direct intervention from one convenience store owner to stop several people from sending thousands to scammers via Bitcoin ATM.
According to the report, Ravi Patel and his wife, after learning about the scam, decided to protect people from their own store’s ATM. They ended up stopping over 8 people from sending Bitcoin related to the scam.
Patel posted a sign on the Bitcoin ATM warning people of the scam, but this didn’t stop some customers from attempting to add money to the machine. One man was about to send $5,500 and another woman had sent $3,500 and was about to send another $7,000 before Patel and his wife intervened.
“My wife and I both rushed to her, grabbed her hand, and then we stopped her,” said Patel.
Police and shop owners want people to know that the Canadian government would never ask citizens to pay in Bitcoin for any reason.
The public affairs manager of North Delta reiterated this by saying, “The government does not demand any payment in Bitcoin. If any Canadian government agency demands you pay your bills, your taxes in Bitcoin, it’s a sure sign it’s a scam.”
Cryptocurrency scams are present wherever you go so it is important to be cautious and research before you send any digital currency to anyone.