According to the Globalnews, the overall number of incidents of fraud and identity theft being reported to Edmonton police in Canada went up a staggering 89% in just five years and criminals want to be paid in Bitcoin.
According to the police, for the most part, the types of scams remain the same. Criminals continue to pose as police officers and other government bodies like the Canada Revenue Agency in an attempt to obtain money from citizens.
Fraudsters contact victims in a variety of ways, including over the phone, e-mail, text or social media. Often they speak the same language as their victims and their calls may appear to come from legitimate police or government phone numbers.
However, while fraud rates continue to skyrocket, there is something new about the scams.
'What has evolved is the method of payment demanded by fraudsters', Const.Tuyen Nguyen with the EPS cyber crimes investigations unit said in a statement.
'While gift cards were once the preferred payment of choice, fraudsters are now increasingly demanding payment in other forms such as Bitcoin and e-transfers.'
The Edmonton police noticed that the large majority of complainants were newcomers to the Edmonton area.
Today the police is warning Canadians with signs near Bitcoin machines at cafes across the city, and developing brochures in multiples languages to assist newcomers.