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Cobourg resident falls victim to $78,000 bitcoin fraud: police

A collection of bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken in December 2017.
A collection of bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken in December 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration/File Photo

Cobourg police are investigating a fraud investigation involving bitcoin.

On Friday, police say a complainant claimed they received a phone call from someone claiming to represent Service Canada. The caller advised that they had the victim’s social insurance number and that it was being used for human trafficking and illegal drug use.

READ MORE: Bitcoin for Canadians: Where to buy it – and the taxes you’ll pay

Police say the victim was asked to deposit $78,000 into area bitcoin machines so their money could be kept in a safe spot. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency or electronic money used to buy goods and services on the Internet and in stores that accept digital currencies.

“The victim followed through, believing this to be a legitimate request from the government,” police stated in a release.

Police continue to investigate.

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They are advising people that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or any other government agencies will never ask for payment in bitcoin.

Should you have any questions about the legitimacy of any call or request, ask friends, family members or the police before withdrawing or transferring funds in any manner.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Cobourg Police at (905) 372-6821 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Ontario city set to allow cryptocurrency for taxes
Ontario city set to allow cryptocurrency for taxes