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Canadian Criminals Pose Themselves as Tax Collectors Demanding a Bitcoin Payment

by on November 9, 2017
 

Bitcoin has been involved in many types of scams these days. Most of those attacks take place online. All of this gives the world’s leading cryptocurrency an even worse reputation. Over in Canada, there is now a scam involving Bitcoin ATMs. Criminals pose as tax collectors and collected over $300,00 in Bitcoin so far. It seems most of the efforts focus on the York region.

This new scam tactic is rather elaborate, to say the least. Criminals portraying themselves as Canadian tax collectors is a very risky move. Tricking victims into using Bitcoin ATMs to send them money elevates this problem to a whole new level. Several complaints have been registered in the York region over the past few weeks. Victims are contacted via phone and are threatened due to alleged tax fraud. This fear-instilling tactic seems to work wonders, as people are still all too trusting when it comes to phone conversations.

Another Scam Involving Bitcoin

As one would expect, the criminals are not in it for the long con. Instead, they demand an immediate payment to make all charges go away. This payment has to be made through a Bitcoin ATM. It is not an entirely new scheme, as this method of approach has been around for some time now. In the past, the criminals demanded wire transfers and prepaid cards as payment methods. Using Bitcoin makes a lot more sense, even though it is not an anonymous currency.

The York Regional Police is growing concerned over this elaborate scam. Victims are not paying small amounts either. One complaint revolves around a payment of $12,000 through such a Bitcoin ATM. That is quite a steep amount of money which will probably never be recovered. It is believed the culprits have earned around $300,000 worth of BTC from various victims. This is an interesting choice, though. Bitcoin lacks any and all privacy and anonymity traits. It is anything but suited for criminal activities, either online or offline.

Most of the victims have no idea of what Bitcoin is, to begin with. This doesn’t make them more prone to this scam, though. After all, the Canada Revenue Agency will not call people to tell them they committed tax fraud. Nor will they ask for a payment whatsoever. For the time being, the Canadian government confirms Bitcoin is still a legitimate online currency. It is evident they are as concerned about this scam as everyone else. Catching the culprits will not be all that easy, though.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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