Brandon police warn about Bitcoin phone scam

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Photo by Liam Pattison Photography

Source: Brandon Police Service Media Release

On January 10, 2022, police received a report of a fraud in which the fraudsters convinced the victim to send $900 via Bitcoin by pretending to be representatives from Service Canada.  The victim also provided fraudsters with their Social Insurance Number.  The victim received another call from fraudsters pretending to be members of BPS.  The fraudster told the victim that they would be arrested if they did not send more money.  At this point, the victim became suspicious and attended to BPS.

While the victim was reporting the matter in Brandon Police Service front lobby, they received another phone call to their cell phone, and the number on their call display was the Brandon Police Service non-emergency number.  The person on the other end of the phone was pretending to be a member of Brandon Police Service.  The victim gave the phone to the BPS employee who then engaged with the fraudster.

Unfortunately, police are not able to track Bitcoin, so any money sent by victims will not be recovered.  Government agencies will not collect money via Bitcoin, and police do not accept money in any form as an alternative to arrest.  Legitimate business and government phone numbers can be spoofed on your call display by fraudsters, to convince victims to comply with bogus demands.  If you didn’t initiate the phone call, you do not know who you are speaking with.  Do not give personal information, such as SIN number, or banking information over the phone.  If you are ever in doubt, please contact police.