Saskatchewan RCMP reported an increase of cryptocurrency frauds last year, leading to nearly $1 million lost in the communities of Swift Current and Maidstone alone.
RCMP in Swift Current received 105 reports of residents being victimized by fraudulent calls, many involving cryptocurrency.
In total, victims collectively lost $361,000 to the scams, according to the RCMP’s weekly report.
Maidstone RCMP received 37 reports of scams involving cryptocurrency. Victims lost a total of $570,000, according to police.
The scams involved a number of tactics including authoritative fraud, false advertising and fake “learn to trade in crypto” programs.
According to Sask. RCMP, some warning signs of cryptocurrency fraud are: (LIST)
Investment opportunities with higher than normal returns.
Unsolicited telephone, email or social media investment offers.
Displays of urgency so you don’t miss out.
Suspicious messages from a trusted source, like a bank or family member.
Cryptocurrency investments that are not registered with provincial or national securities regulators.
Contact pages that include an illegitimate address.
“There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency companies in the market today. Some are legitimate companies, while others may have weak online security or are completely fraudulent,” Cst. Tyson Maxwell, a crypto coordinator for Saskatchewan RCMP, explained in a news release.
“Investigating cryptocurrency fraud is complex as perpetrators are often at various international locations, or hiding through hard to trace IP addresses.”
Maxwell recommends those looking to become involved with cryptocurrency educate themselves on reputable trading platforms and the current prices of cryptocurrency.
“Once a crypto transaction has been completed, it cannot be reversed,” Maxwell explained.
“If the investment looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you choose to invest, use a major reputable trading platform or online exchange and do your research to protect yourself.”
Residents can learn more about cryptocurrency scams by visiting Saskatchewan RCMP’s website.