The NRPS Central Fraud Unit has seen an alarming rise in the number of Bitcoin scams in the Niagara Region. 

It is important to educate yourself on the concept of cryptocurrency, and the risks associated with its use. Bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed or cancelled, so please take the time to read the information below and avoid being a victim. 

 Government Scams

This involves the impersonation of a government agency such as Service Ontario or the RCMP. Victims are led to believe that if they do not provide a requested sum of money through use of a Bitcoin ATM, they will be arrested. In other cases, the victim is led to believe that their bank accounts have been compromised and must send their funds to a specific destination to avoid a financial loss. 

Please note - you will never be contacted by telephone by a government agency to send money. Your best bet in this case is to hang up and call the agency back to verify. 

 Utility Scams

This involves the impersonation of a utility company claiming that if the victim does not pay a requested sum of money immediately, their utilities will be shut off. The victim is provided with a QR code and is directed to a Bitcoin ATM to make the requested payment. 

 Pyramid Schemes
Victims are promised a guaranteed return on their financial investment. Generally, the scammer will use a website that the victim can log into and "track their investment" while continuing to provide more of their money. 
 Fake Merchandise/Online Sales Scams
Scammers will provide a fake back story for why they are selling high value items at a low price. Generally, scammers will use emotional responses to trick victims into believing stories such as the death of a family member. Once the victim inquires, the scammer provides a QR code for the victim to use at a Bitcoin ATM and once the funds are sent, the victim never receives the item. 
 Job and Romance Scams 

These types of scams involve the victim being used as "money mule". They are recruited under the promise of employment or an intimate relationship, and are asked by scammers to have money deposited into their personal accounts and then in turn take that money and deposit it into a Bitcoin ATM. 

Once reported to the bank, the funds that were deposited are reversed and the victim becomes responsible for returning the funds to the bank. 

If you believe that you have been a victim of a scam and have experienced financial loss, we would encourage you to report it immediately:

Telephone: (905) 688-4111 Option 1 

If you have not experienced financial loss, but would like to report a potential scam, please call:

Telephone: 1-(888)-495-8501