Grande Prairie, Alberta – Grande Prairie RCMP are warning local residents and business owners to be cautious of scams involving cryptocurrency, also known as Bitcoin.
In the last week, RCMP have received several reports of scams involving Bitcoin, where victims have lost large sums of money. The suspects call from a number that appears to be a legitimate energy provider, and advise the victim their account is owing money. The suspect states if the money is not paid, the victims energy services will be shut off immediately. Victims are then sent a ‘bar code’ via text and directed to a bit coin machine to pay the money, using the bar code to scan.
RCMP advise residents and businesses to use caution any time they are asked for money. Tips to protect yourself include:
• Verify the caller or senders phone number or email address – scammers will often create numbers and addresses that are very similar to legitimate ones, or even appearing to be the same. Legitimate businesses do not mind you calling back to verify.
• Inspect emails and documents carefully before making any payments – fraudsters will use company names or logos similar to known businesses to make invoices seem real.
• Know that reputable organizations will never ask for private or personal information through email or text.
• Never use the phone number or email address provided in a suspicious message – use the contact information listed on verified websites or bills.
• Never feel pressured to make a quick decision – take time to verify.
For further information to protect yourself and your business, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or 1-888-495-8501.
To file a police complaint regarding this phone scam or any other fraudulent phone calls, please contact your local RCMP office.
Grande Prairie RCMP
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