Cryptocurrency fraud in Canada has surged in the past four years, police have reported. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), cryptocurrency-related scams have shot up 400% in the past four years. Canada’s digital currency industry has been thriving in recent years. Despite the fall of the QuadrigaCX exchange in controversial circumstances, Canadians have continued to adopt digital currencies, with studies showing that three in four Canadians know what Bitcoin is.
With the rapid adoption has come an unfortunate rise in crypto scams.
With the increase in adoption of crypto has come an unfortunate rise in digital currency fraud as well. Kris Clark, an organized crime RCMP officer, told local outlet Global News, “Cryptocurrency fraud is increasing dramatically in Canada, with a difference of more than 400% between 2017 and 2020.” He added, “Canadians lost nearly US$8.7 million through digital currency scams alone, in the first eight months of 2020.” Crypto scams have varied over the years, ranging from those targeting victims’ greed such as “double-your-money” scams to those targeting intimidation such as extortion scams.
Vancouver residents lost $2 million to crypto scams in a single week.
In recent times, fraudsters have been targeting lonely victims, pretending to be romantically interested in them before luring them to send digital currencies. In Vancouver, authorities said local residents lost $2 million to digital currency scams in a single week earlier this month. As per the Vancouver Police Department, such scams have tripled this year. Tania Visintin, the department spokesperson, commented, “Predators will often exploit two powerful human emotions – greed and love. Victims are typically lured in with the idea that they will be a part of an opportunity to make money or, in other cases, they will be doing a friend or romantic interest a favor.” Crypto scams worldwide have increased in recent times, coinciding with the growth in the adoption of cryptocurrency.