July 22, 2024

Cryptocurrency: Ottawa police warns of job scam

The Ottawa Police Service says officers have been seeing a new scam involving job offers paying in cryptocurrency.

The scammers would ask the job seeker to send them their personal information, putting them at risk to lose money, police warn.

“We are reminding people to use their best judgement when looking for jobs online,” reads the release.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency where financial transactions are verified and maintained by a decentralized system using cryptography, rather than by a centralized authority.

Experts who spoke to CTV News in October say because of its anonymous nature, the crypto market is appealing for criminals. It’s an unregulated market, transactions happen quickly, and they’re difficult to trace.

“There’s no regulation, which makes it the Wild West,” explained Glen Dobranski, vice-president of technology for Edmonton-based Solut, an IT and cybersecurity firm.

“People can put a lot of money into here, and if it goes up in smoke overnight, there’s no backing on it. There’s no insurance on it.”

Meanwhile, Scott McPhee from the Canadian Cyber Training Assessment Training and Experimentation (CATE) Centre at the University of Calgary says promises for big investment returns and demands for urgent action are among the red flags to watch out for when you suspect you’re being targeted by fraudsters.

“I think a lot of the time, you have to kind of stop and think about this,” he told CTV News.

“You want to be critical. You want to always question what they’re asking you.”

Over the first six months of 2023, Canadians lost more than $161 million to investment scams, most of which involved cryptocurrency, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

With files from CTV’s Bill Fortier


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