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  Police Warning Public about New Frauds Involving Virtual Currency

Mar 10, 2017 10:59 ET

DRPS would like to warn the public about new fraud schemes being reported by residents of Durham involving virtual currency, known as Bitcoins.

Residents have reported being contacted by fraudsters after applying for jobs or responding to ads online involving a promise to make money. The fraudsters send cheques to the victims and ask them to use the money to purchase Bitcoins--a virtual currency used globally. Bitcoin machines can be found at a number of locations in Durham, mostly in convenience stores. The victims deposit the cheque (or sometimes e-transfer) into their accounts then use the funds to buy online currency and deposit the Bitcoins into someone else's account. For doing this, they are told they can keep a certain amount of the money that was originally sent to them. However, a short time after the victim uses their own money to purchase the Bitcoins, the original cheque or e-transfer bounces.

It has also been reported that Bitcoins have been used in popular Canada Revenue Agency scams where fraudsters impersonate government employees and ask for income tax payments.

Police would like to warn the public to be wary of these types of scams. If you have lost money to this scam, call the police. Victims in Durham Region have lost several thousands of dollars through this type of Bitcoin transaction.

For more information or to report a scam attempt, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or call 1-888-495-8501.

These warnings should be discussed with seniors or other vulnerable people who do not have access to this information via the internet.

Anyone wishing to report a fraud in Durham Region is asked to contact Durham Regional Police at 1-888-579-1520.

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