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$90K Bitcoin scam in Red Deer prevented by warning poster: RCMP

Stripe dropped Bitcoin support on Wednesday, after supporting the technology since 2014.
Stripe dropped Bitcoin support on Wednesday, after supporting the technology since 2014. Dave Parsons / Global News

RCMP said a warning poster placed on a Bitcoin machine in Red Deer, Alta., may be the reason a $90,000 scam was thwarted.

On July 3, RCMP said it began an investigation into a phone scam where a victim received a call from a suspect pretending to be with both the CRA and the RCMP.

Police said the scammers told the victim his identity had been compromised and is involved with a money laundering incident.

The man was told he needed to deposit his money into a Bitcoin account — controlled by the scammer — to protect his funds.

The man went to a nearby Bitcoin machine, but a warning poster and an employee at the business stopped the victim from completing the transaction, RCMP said.

Read more: No, the government doesn’t accept Bitcoin, warns RCMP amid surge in scams

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The poster was placed on the Bitcoin machine by RCMP to help deter these types of scams, which officers say are becoming more common across the country.

“These are not small crimes; people are losing their life savings to these scams,” Cst. Andrew Devine said in a news release Tuesday.

“The more awareness we can spread about the risks associated with using Bitcoins, the better,” Devine added.

“In this particular case, the gentleman was just seconds away from losing his life savings. Fortunately, the warning poster and the business employee intervened and prevented the irreversible transaction.”

Read more: 4 wanted in nationwide bitcoin ATM scam

RCMP added that Bitcoin is not issued or guaranteed by any bank or government and is not considered a legal form of tender in Canada.

“No government agency, the RCMP, nor any reputable business will ever call you and demand a payment through Bitcoin for any reason,” Devine said.

Bitcoins are an unsecured and non-refundable form of virtual currency.