LONDON, ONT. —
OPP in Norfolk County are investigating a scam involving $13,000 in Bitcoin reported on Thursday.
The victim in the scam reportedly received a call from someone who claimed to be with Ontario Services stating there was an issue with their Social Insurance Number.
When the victim did not give the number in full to the caller, the caller said the police would call to discuss the issue further.
Immediately after hanging up, the victim received a call from someone claiming to be an officer with the OPP, identifying himself as Officer Marshall with the badge number 417J2977.
The number on the call display indicated that the call was coming from 519-426-3434, the actual number of the OPP Detachment on Queensway West in Simcoe.
The victim, who felt threatened, went to a Bitcoin machine in London and sent about $13,000 to the caller.
Shortly after, they realized the call was a scam and contacted police.
OPP is warning the public of scammers using ‘call spoofing technology’ that allows the call display to show the OPP’s number, or their non-emergency number of 1-888-310-1122. In some cases the call display simply reads, Ontario Provincial Police.
Scammers tend to use Bitcoin, a type of digital money, or ask victims to wire money or demand gift cards as payment.
Common Bitcoin scams include:
A scammer sends a message or calls an individual saying they hacked into their computer and now have access. The scammer provides two options; send Bitcoin or send nothing and sensitive material will be send to their email contacts.
A scammer calls saying they work for a government agency like the Canada Revenue Agency, police service, or bank to gain the victims trust. They then request the victim sends money to secure their account or monitor fraudulent transactions.
Bogus Investment and Business Opportunities:
A scammer offers investment or business opportunities promising to make the victim a lot of money.
Scammers offer free giveaways of Bitcoin or other digital currencies in exchange for personal information.
Pump and Dumps:
An individual that claims they know what the Bitcoin price will be and tries to drive up the price in order to dump their holdings for a profit.
Contact the OPP to verify unsolicited contacts before sending money, gift cards, or Bitcoin.