Lethbridge man bilked out of $11K in Bitcoin scheme
Lethbridge police say they were contacted by a man on June 2 who claimed he had been defrauded out of $11,000 when he was told to make a deposit at a Bitcoin machine. (File)
LETHBRIDGE -- Lethbridge police are warning the public to be careful after a 24-year-old man was tricked by criminals into believing he was under investigation by authorities.
Officials say they were called on June 2 by a man who said he had been defrauded out of $11,000 by a caller who told him he was being investigated for money laundering.
The unknown individual gave him specific instructions on how to protect himself which included withdrawing money out of his account and depositing it into another account specifically made for Bitcoins.
The suspect told the victim the account was "safe" and police officers would be contacting him sometime later and providing him with a cheque for the full amount if it was proven he was not involved in any illegal activity.
"While the victim was at the Bitcoin machine, he observed multiple people in line on their phones. Shortly after making his deposit, Brinks employees arrived on scene and upon hearing the conversations of the people in line, instructed them to hang up as they were being scammed," police said in a release.
Officials are reminding the public to always be cautious when they receive a call from anyone who says they are in law enforcement or any other government agency such as Revenue Canada.
Police say government officials will never ask for payments to be made in the form of Bitcoin transfers, gift cards, pre-paid credit cards or wire transfers.
If anyone is concerned about the validity of any caller, they are urged to contact the police detachment or government agency directly through a phone number they know is correct.
Anyone with further information about the about incident or who feels they may have been victimized is asked to call police at 403-328-4444.