TL;DR: “Warning!” the announcement stressed, “Government agencies such as: Canada Revenue Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted Police [(RCMP)] and Citizenship and Immigration Canada do not accept Bitcoin, demand immediate payment over the phone and threaten deportation or arrest for non-payment.” Evidently, scams involving the world’s most popular cryptocurrency are becoming increasingly targeted at immigrants.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Warn Immigrants: We Do Not Take Take Bitcoin
The RCMP in conjunction with the online announcement are also issuing warning posters to that effect around Edmonton, Alberta especially. “Do not deposit cash to a Bitcoin address that you do not control. Do not provide any personal information, by phone, email or text. If you have lost money as a result of a scam, contact your local RCMP detachment,” the agency explained.
“In an effort to stop victims of fraud from making bitcoin payments, the RCMP has launched an initiative that will see posters with warnings placed in rural locations,” the agency detailed. It follows years of previous warnings of a similar sort, including last year within Port Coquitlam. Back then, warnings were regarding, “Telephone scams” where “the most common victims are college-age, new Canadians and elderly people of all backgrounds,” noting, “From August to October we’ve seen 14 cases of telephone fraud involving Bitcoin. Total losses are over $66,000.00.”
The RCMP describes such scams aimed at immigrants as “prevalent throughout the province, primarily scams where culprits are representing themselves as agents from a government organization and requesting payment in Bitcoin. To assist citizens throughout Alberta, posters have been created by the RCMP – Strategic Communications New Media team. The posters are very clear with warnings, including: ‘Stop – Do not use this Bitcoin machine if you are not in control of the QR Code you scan.'”
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