Calgary police are urging Calgarians to raise their level of awareness of online scams, particularly those involving anything that includes payment in cryptocurrency.
With October designated as Cyber Awareness Month, the police issued a statement Wednesday encouraging people to approach certain transactions with heightened vigilance.
One of those involves online ads located on social media platforms that appear to come from friends, encouraging them to invest. That connects them to a so-called ‘advisor’, who helps them set up an account designed to trade in cryptocurrency, which in fact connects to the advisor. The advisor then advises them to continue to add money to the account until the victim discovers it’s a scam.
“We are now in the second week of Cyber Awareness Month and our hope is to help educate citizens about both the legitimate and fraudulent sides of cryptocurrency,” said Staff Sgt. Graeme Smiley of the Calgary Police Service cyber forensics unit. “It’s important for citizens to know cryptocurrency can be used legitimately and there are institutions to help people use it safely. Unfortunately, it is also used by scammers as a way to obtain funds quickly.”
Police remind everyone that only scammers ask for payment in cryptocurrencies, only scammers promise big profits or returns, and that everyone should remain wary of social media posts that are geared towards cryptocurrency investments.
Anyone who has suffered financial losses due to a scammer or has other information is asked to contact Calgary police at 403-266-1234. Anonymous callers can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, online or by downloading the P3 Tips app available at Apple or the Google Play Store.