Canadian police, particularly the Calgary Police Service (CPS) Cybercrime Team is asking for public assistance in order to identify four individuals, who are allegedly involved in multiple fraudulent Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) transactions.
According to an announcement published by the Toronto Police Service on March 13, in September of last year, the suspects made 112 fraudulent transactions at BTMs in seven Canadian cities, including Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal, Hamilton, Calgary, Sherwood Park and Ottawa.
The CPS received an initial complaint about the same in October 2018, they believe that the suspect made “double-spend” attacks.
The said attacks involve the suspect withdrawing money from a kiosk but before the BTM operator could process the withdrawal they cancel their transaction remotely. Reportedly, around CA$195,000 ($146,666) has been syphoned off from the concerned company through this scam.
Increase in Crypto Scams
A recently published article by crypto analytics company CipherTrace revealed that in 2018 alone, about $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency was obtained via illicit means. Over $950 million of that amount was snatched off from crypto exchanges, an alarming amount that has reportedly observed a 3.6 times increase over 2017. The year also saw, at least $725 million is lost to scams in likes of Ponzi schemes, exit schemes and fraudulent initial coin offerings.
However, there is a different side of the story to this research article, analytics company Chainalysis has reported that cryptocurrency-related crime observed a decline over the past few years, only accounting for 1 percent of all Bitcoin transactions in 2018.
While both the sides have analytical proof to support their theory, it cannot be ignored that even the smallest of scams could put a considerable dent in investor’s pocket and most importantly warn off the already dicy governments and institutional investors from the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Image source – Toronto Police