Abbotsford – The Abbotsford Police are asking citizens to remain vigilant, and to not respond to fraudsters calling and threatening arrest. The caller is NOT from a police agency, the Canada Revenue Agency, Social Insurance office or an immigration officer. These agencies will never call you to threaten you with arrest. The people who are calling are criminals attempting to extort money from you.
In the past, it was common for these fraudsters to demand iTunes cards. Now, callers are demanding that victims make payment using Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a perfect tool for fraudsters as Bitcoin transactions are unregulated, untraceable and accessible worldwide, making it difficult to investigate the frauds.
Over the past four months there has been a noted increase in Bitcoin fraud reported to the AbbyPD. AbbyPD is aware of nine residents in Abbotsford who have fallen victim to a Bitcoin scam, sending over $68,440 to fraudsters since October.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than 5% of mass marketing fraud is ever reported. Please follow the steps in this link if you have been defrauded: https://bit.ly/2Ggxiqb.
Sgt. Judy Bird notes “Many citizens who are victimized are either embarrassed, or actually believe that they are in trouble, so they don’t question the transaction.”
Phone calls, text messages or email threatening arrest and/or demanding payment via means such as Bitcoin are SUSPICIOUS.
How to protect yourself & others…
👉 Beware of “recovery scams”. Victims of fraud are often targeted a second or third time with the promise of recovering money previously lost. Always do your due diligence and never send money to recover money.
👉 Stay current. Check out the Canadian Anti-Fraud center for new scams.
👉 Be pro-active. Educate family, friends, neighbours and co-workers on mass marketing frauds. YOU may prevent someone else from becoming a victim.
How do I report fraud and spam?
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre advises not to open unsolicited emails when the sender is unknown. Spam & related violations can be reported to enforcement agencies through the Spam Reporting Centre at https://bit.ly/2ue9VuB .