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Front line officers asking residents to talk to loved ones about cryptocurrency scams

New Westminster – The New Westminster Police Department has seen an increase in reports of scammers who are requesting cryptocurrency. Scammers will use dating apps, online ads, or phone calls to manipulate people into sending them cryptocurrency. When scammers use phone calls in this scam they will identify themselves as employees of legitimate organizations, examples include: the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Court Services, even the New Westminster Police Department.

To look more credible, the scammers manipulate their phone numbers, so the call display can look as if it’s coming from the organization they claim to represent. They tell victims that they owe money and must pay immediately or they’ll be arrested.

“A request for cryptocurrency is a huge red flag,” stated Sergeant Sanjay Kumar. “If you are ever contacted out of the blue by someone demanding cryptocurrency it’s a scam.”

The best course of action to take to prevent others from falling victim to cryptocurrency scams is to talk to friends and family about how the scams works. After intimidating or manipulating the victim, the scammer will direct them to a nearby cryptocurrency ATM. Cryptocurrency ATMs are used to exchange cash for cryptocurrency. The scammer then directs the victim to send them the cryptocurrency. The exchange happens within minutes, is irreversible, cannot be tracked, and the scammers remain anonymous.

“The frequency of these scams is startling,” stated Sergeant Sanjay Kumar. “An officer here in New Westminster shared they’ve spoken to four victims in the last three weeks. There’s little we can do once the cryptocurrency is sent, which is why we’re asking residents to help us share this information with friends and family. The New Westminster Police, the CRA, and the New Westminster Court House will never call someone demanding money, let alone, provide instructions on how to obtain the money and how to send it.”

If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, please report it to your local police and also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.



CONTACT PERSON: Sergeant Sanjay Kumar

PHONE: 604-529-2537