Swift Current & Maidstone RCMP report nearly $1 million lost in cryptocurrency scams

A pair of RCMP detachments reported that nearly $1 million were lost due to cryptocurrency fraud in 2022.

Swift Current RCMP received 105 reports of people being victimized by fraudulent calls involving cryptocurrency. In total, victims reported more than $361,000 in losses.

Maidstone RCMP received 37 reports, with victims reporting more than $570,000 in losses.

RCMP said that the reports saw several tactics, including authoritative fraud, a ‘learn to trade in crypto program,’ and false advertising.

Constable Tyson Maxwell is a Crypto Coordinator for the Saskatchewan RCMP under the Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit.

“There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency companies in the market today. Some are legitimate companies, while others may have weak online security or are completely fraudulent,” he says. “Investigating cryptocurrency fraud is complex as perpetrators are often at various international locations or hiding through hard-to-trace IP addresses.”

Despite the difficulty, Maxwell said that the RCMP have resources available to track and trace some transactions, but they need to act fast.

“Once a crypto transaction has been completed, it cannot be reversed. If the investment looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

“If you choose to invest, use a major reputable trading platform or online exchange and do your research to protect yourself,” Maxwell continued. “We have lots of investment scams, where the scammer says the victim made 20% on their Ethereum investment, for example – when they were actually going down 10%.”

“A good way to know if you’re being scammed is to verify through other sources what your investment company tells you.”

The RCMP said warning signs of cryptocurrency fraud might include the following:

  • Investment opportunities with higher-than-normal returns
  • Unsolicited telephone, email or social media investment offers
  • Displays of urgency so you don’t miss out
  • Suspicious messages from a trusted source, like a bank or family member, or
  • Cryptocurrency investments that are not registered with provincial or national securities regulators
  • Contact pages that include an illegitimate address

Residents can learn more about cryptocurrency scams by visiting Saskatchewan RCMP’s website.

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