Salmon Arm RCMP issue warning about Bitcoin phone scam | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Salmon Arm RCMP issue warning about Bitcoin phone scam

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November 04, 2020 - 3:35 PM

RCMP are warning the public about a Bitcoin phone scam that has been circulating in Salmon Arm in the past few weeks.

The potential victim receives a call which begins with an automated recording saying their social insurance number will be cancelled unless they press 1, according to an RCMP release.

Pressing 1 connects the potential victim to a fraudster posing as an agent from the Canada Revenue Agency, who claims the social insurance number was sued to open 25 illegal bank accounts in several locations.

If this claim is denied, the potential victim may be directed to another line, with a second person posing as an RCMP officer who will confirm the claims.

The victim would then be referred back to the first fraudster, who directs them to drive down to the bank, get all the money they could and then deposit the money in the local bitcoin ATM to a government "safety deposit box."

While the scam may change wording, it always involves purchasing bitcoin.

"This scam also uses numbers that originate in Ontario or Quebec and then the victim will get a call from the local Salmon Arm RCMP number," Sgt Scott West said in a release.

"This number comes up on call display so the victim thinks it is a real Police Officer calling them. In this case the displayed number is being 'spoofed' and is not the local detachment."

The caller may also have a strong accent, as many of these types of scams come from other countries. In light of this circulating scam, the RCMP is reminding the public that the government does not cancel social insurance numbers or accept payment in Bitcoin. The Canada Revenue Agency also does not threaten people with immediate arrest.

Anyone who finds themselves victim to a scam is urged to contact their local RCMP detachment and make a report. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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