We have been operating our business for about two and a half years now. During this time we have helped dozens of people who are victims to various Bitcoin or crypto related scams. This scam list is to help inform people to not fall victim to these fraudsters that undeniably cast a dark shadow on the industry.
Bitcoin CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) Scam
The Canada revenue agency scam is the one we see the most and it’s a scam that unfortunately we cannot do anything about.
An individual impersonating a CRA agent will call people. They will convincingly state in most cases with a foreign accent their agent number. They will proceed to state there is an arrest warrant and that the only way this warrant will be cleared is if Bitcoin is sent to a specific Bitcoin address. To make it even more convincing they will take over phone numbers to local police departments and to the CRA. They may say to call a phone number to your local law enforcement agency and give you the officers name. The number will match the number to the law enforcement office which you can see online. Call this number and an individual impersonating a police officer will answer and continue to state the urgency of the matter.
Just remember 2 things. The CRA DOES NOT GIVE OUT WARRANTS. THEY ARE THE CANADA REVENUE AGENCY NOT A POLICE DEPARTMENT. THEY WILL ALSO NEVER ASK FOR BITCOIN! We get many calls asking us how to get money back from this and unfortunately we cannot help them. There is no way to get Bitcoin back after being sent unless the person you send it too decides to send it back.
The Prince Scam or the Fiancee Scam
This is the second most popular scam we see at our office. Most of the time the people getting scammed are convinced they are not being scammed. This scam leaves a bad taste in our mouths. It’s simply horrible.
From what we know this scam starts from online contact through social media or a dating service. We’ve seen both men and women fall victim to this scam. An individual usually older, and single will walk into our office. They will have no knowledge of Bitcoin so we proceed to ask the question for what reason they are buying Bitcoin. The replies are all over the place except for the part where the fiance is not in town and they are short on funds. So the person needs Bitcoin due to a sudden shortage of money. We’ve seen this scam so much that this instantly sets off a red flag.
We proceed to ask more personal details. These people have never met in person and have only had contact through online portals. So these men and women are acting through online channels for months pretending to form a bond which eventually leads to an engagement. After this happens is when we see clients walk in and say they need to send their fiance(e) bitcoin. Now it is very hard to convince someone who genuinely believes they are in a legitimate relationship that this is a scam. We do our best, inform our clients of scams and if we believe it to be a scam we will turn our clients away if they insist to proceed to do a transaction with us. We do not support the scam nor do we want our clients falling victims to cryptocurrency related scams.
It does not make any sense to be sending Bitcoin to someone you have never met before unless its for a product or service that accepts or only accepts cryptocurrency. Send a paypal transfer or a bank transfer. These people do not wish for any other sort of transfer because their real information will become available. I hate to say this but we’ve had people trying to send thousands of dollars in Bitcoin and it really doesn’t sit well with us. We end up turning them away and only hope for the best.
The Bitcoin Porn Scam
We have yet to see anyone walk into our branch with this scam. This isn’t really a scam this is more a form of extortion than anything. I have seen an email in a friends junk mail folder with the contents being this scam.
It basically stated that the person has hacked your computer and knows what porn you watch and they have even recorded you doing your thing while watching this porn. The things people think of…The scary part about this is in actuality there are ways to hack peoples computers and get access to their search history and record a person through a webcam. This is often done by phishing, through emails, websites, file downloads and other forms of fraudulent cyber attacks. However I have yet to hear about anyone actually having their pornographic adventures exposed. That being said over 1 million dollars in bitcoin has already been sent to these scammers. There was a recent article about an 86 year old woman who got one of these emails. You can read the article here.
Other Bitcoin Scams
Some other Bitcoin scams include exchange scams and the use of Bitcoin for goods and services. People often promote unknown entities, exchanges, and online platforms not even knowing they are promoting a scam. These companies all work in the same fashion. They promise unrealistic returns on your investment. This is a scam that doesn’t just concern Bitcoin. This happens all the time. If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. Do’t blindly send anyone money whether it’s Bitcoin or the dollar. Do some research especially if the funds are being used for investment purposes. The funds are being used for one purpose to gain more funds. Do not make the mistake of sending the money to an enitity that will steal your funds.
Unfortunately we have seen a few of these cases where people have sent Bitcoin to different companies which promise them a high return. All it would take is a Google search to find out these companies are not legitimate. People have walked into our office who are not clients of ours with the expectation for us to get their money back. First of all we are sorry for the unfortunate circumstances. However we have no assossiation with any scams. We try our best to not let these things happen when dealing with us at Vancouver Bitcoin. We are aware of the scams out there and keep our clients very well informed.