The Calgary Police Service issued a warning to residents to beware of fraudsters who promise high returns on crypto investments, noting that Calgary victims have lost more than $22 million mostly to investment scams so far in 2023.
Meanwhile, authorities believe crypto scams are still underreported despite huge losses.
Calgary Police Receive More Crypto Scam Reports in 2023
Residents in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, have lost over $22.5 million to crypto-related scams in 2023, a significant increase from around $14 million recorded in 2022, according to a report from the Calgary Police Service (CPS).
The CPS said there were 321 reported cases of cryptocurrency scams in 2022, followed by an increase to 340 cases so far in 2023. However, the police believe these figures do not represent the total loss suffered by victims, stating that crypto scams are underreported.
With the steady rise in fraud cases, the CPS has asked Canadian investors to exercise caution, asking them to be wary of the various means that scammers use to steal their money.
According to the police, investment scams were the most common type of scams suffered by Canadian investors. As outlined by CPS, promises of hyperbolic returns on their crypto investments should be seen as a red flag, stating that it is only fraudsters that would guarantee such high profits.
Also, authorities noted that government agencies will not demand full payment over the phone, especially in crypto, or offer threats and asked residents to report any suspicious activity.
The statement by Staff Sergeant Graeme Smiley of the Calgary Police Service Cyber Forensics Unit reads:
“It is important for citizens to know that while cryptocurrency can be used legitimately, fraudsters often lure victims with promises of a quick way to make money[…]For those who have fallen victim to a cryptocurrency fraud, we now have the Blockchain Investigative Team who are dedicated to investigating these types of scams.”
Canadian Investors Wary of Crypto Exchanges
A previous survey published by the Toronto Metropolitan University’s think tank, the Dais, revealed that one-third of crypto holders in Canada, amounting to about 35%, have been victims of crypto fraud. Also, almost half of the Canadian respondents said they had low trust in crypto exchanges.
Impersonating legitimate companies is another notable tactic employed by scammers to defraud investors. As previously reported by CryptoPotato, on-chain researcher ZachXBT discovered that scammers were setting up fake accounts on X with gold verification checkmarks usually reserved for legitimate business organizations to scam users.
According to ZachXBT, the $1,000 per month subscription fee for the gold verification badge is not enough to deter fraudsters, considering the amount they would get from their illicit activities.
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