Bitcoin adoption is growing dramatically in Canada, but the rate of cryptocurrency fraud is also increasing at a worrying speed. Between 2017 to 2020, digital currency-related fraud in Canada rose by about 400%, as per the report by RCMP.
Some of these frauds have happened in the form of extortion scams (more than $10 mln was lost via extortion by Canadians) or attracting victims with fake schemes promising high abnormal returns like double-your-money scams.
From January to August, last year, Canadians lost over USD 8.7 million via crypto-asset frauds. in the first week of March 2021, Vancouver residents lost over USD 2 mln through cryptocurrency scams where master-minders target lonely victims and start engaging them in romantic stories and then persuade them to send cryptocurrencies, as per the report by CoinIdol, a world blockchain news outlet.
Such statistics urges the citizens of the globe’s largest country to stay on the alert and watch out for suspicious projects in order not to lose their money. Here is some basic advice that may help to keep one’s funds safe and sound:
Engaging in trustworthy, reputable and licensed projects only. Whenever there is the smallest suspicion on the company’s legitimacy, it is better to think twice before handing over any money to them;
Cautiousness in making new acquaintances is a must. In the age of the Internet, there is nothing surprising about people meeting online. However, if a new friend or romantic partner makes every excuse to avoid meeting in person while asking for financial help or investment, this should be a red flag for carefulness;
Users should always check and visit crypto-asset forums and where necessary subscribe to authentic RSS feeds or notifications to get the latest information of fake crypto-exchanges, hacks, thefts on time;
Citizens who are interested to use, trade or invest in this high-risk business, should stick to trustworthy cryptocurrency trading and investment platforms for bona fide investment and trading opportunities. Also, legitimate projects offer reasonable returns. If a promised return is unusually high, a company is likely a scam;
Contact local law enforcement agencies to report all suspicious activity or projects. The security agencies will conduct an investigation into the matter and check the legitimacy of a project or expose a scam. Reporting on the Internet might also become a useful habit. Even if a person becomes a victim of a fraudulent scheme, disclosing the information might at least save other people from getting involved.
The latest data disclose that the citizens of Canada seem to be more vulnerable to scams than other countries. Interestingly, the number of fraudsters is increasing within its borders while the general number of various criminal schemes goes down.
According to a report by CihperTrace analytics firm, the loss to cryptocurrency scams, hacks and theft in 2020 amounted to $1.9 billion. Despite it being the second-largest amount in history, it is still far less than in 2019, when the loss totalled $4.5 billion.
Generally, the wave of cryptocurrency scams seems to subside. Rapid and overall digitization makes the developers of various solutions pay increasingly closer attention to the security issues. Nevertheless, users should remain very cautious to avoid involvement in fraudulent activity and protect their funds.