Residents of Calgary, a city in Canada, have reportedly been swindled in 340 cryptocurrency scams this year, incurring losses exceeding $22.5 million, according to a recent report.
On Monday, the Calgary city police service disclosed that citizens have lost in excess of $22.5 million to such frauds in the current year, a significant jump from last year’s figure which hovered around $14 million.
While 321 crypto scam incidents were registered in 2022, this year has seen a slight surge with 340 cases being reported, as per the announcement. The release also pointed out that, in spite of these alarming numbers, numerous crypto scam incidents likely remain unreported.
During the third week of Cyber Security Awareness Month, the authorities are focusing on enlightening the public about the warning signs associated with such scams.
While acknowledging the legitimate aspects of cryptocurrencies, the police emphasized that their unregulated nature makes them an attractive avenue for deceitful schemes. Scammers often exploit this “deregulated marketplace” to weave various frauds around it.
Staff Sergeant Graeme Smiley of the Calgary Police Service Cyber Forensics Unit remarked, “Though cryptocurrency has legitimate uses, it’s crucial for the public to understand that swindlers often bait victims with the allure of easy profits.”
Most Common Frauds
The report from Calgary city underscores that prevalent scams often involve assurances of exaggerated profit margins, manipulation of victims into continuously transferring funds, online romance ruses, and impostors posing as officials from government or banking establishments. Such fraudulent activities have witnessed a significant surge recently.
“In the frame of Cyber Security Awareness Month, we aim to equip residents with the knowledge to identify potential scam indicators,” stated representatives from the police unit.
Additionally, Smiley pointed out that Calgary boasts a specialized “Blockchain Investigative Team” singularly focused on probing such deceptive schemes.
Police Warns Citizens
The Calgary Police Service has issued a caution to its residents regarding prevalent cryptocurrency scams. The police emphasized, “Only fraudsters insist on immediate full payment.” They added that bona fide enterprises and governmental entities typically don’t demand upfront payments, “especially not in the form of cryptocurrency.”
Residents were further advised to be vigilant of alluring pledges by scammers offering substantial returns in a limited timeframe.
The advisory further stated, “Should you get an unsolicited communication via an app or dating website, and the individual suggests investment strategies in cryptocurrency or solicits you to transfer crypto, there’s a high likelihood it’s a scam.”