Kitchener resident loses $22,400 in Bitcoin scam

A Bitcoin logo is displayed on an ATM in Hong Kong, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017. A cryptocurrency expert was sentenced Tuesday, April 12, 2022, to more than five years in federal prison for helping North Korea evade U.S. sanctions. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

Waterloo regional police are investigating and issuing a public warning after a Kitchener resident lost $22,400 in a Bitcoin scam.

In a media release, police said the internet fraud was reported on Tuesday May 24.

The victim said while trying to access their bank’s website, a popup appeared requesting their Social Insurance Number.

The victim provided the information and later received telephone calls from a man who said he worked with the government.

The caller said to protect their bank account, the victim needed to withdraw money from their accounts and deposit the funds at a Bitcoin ATM. The caller further told the victim not to tell anyone he worked for the government, saying he was involved in trying to catch money launderers.

The victim went to a Bitcoin ATM in a Kitchener store as instructed by the caller and deposited a total of $22,400.

They later realized they had fallen victim to a scam.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Police are urging people to use caution when it comes to Bitcoin-related requests.

According to police, accredited businesses, government and law enforcement agencies will not:

  • call you and ask for personal information while threatening to arrest you if you do not comply;
  • negotiate payments over the phone; or
  • accept Bitcoin as payment