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Another Guelph resident falls victim to Bitcoin scam: police

A Bitcoin logo is shown is displayed on an ATM in Hong Kong on December 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Kin Cheung

Guelph police say a woman has lost all of her life savings in a Bitcoin scam that has become common in the city.

Like many other cases, the 30-year-old received a call from a man claiming to be with Service Canada and informed her of fraudulent activity associated with her bank accounts, police said.

Read more: Guelph police credit bank employee with saving woman from fraud

The caller then asked the woman for the phone number of her local police department, and minutes later she received a call that appeared to be from Guelph police.

“The caller falsely identified himself as a police officer and told the female her bank account was about to be frozen and she should go and withdraw all the money,” police said.

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“She was also warned not to discuss this with anyone as it would jeopardize an ongoing investigation.”

Police said the woman withdrew $6,200 from her account and then deposited it into a Bitcoin machine at a downtown business.

Click to play video: 'Police warn about bitcoin scam' Police warn about bitcoin scam
Police warn about bitcoin scam – Dec 3, 2020

Bitcoins transactions are almost impossible to trace and police are urging the public to be vigilant and cautious when speaking with someone you don’t know — “especially online or over the phone.”

Police recommend seeking advice from a family member, co-worker, trusted friend or even by calling them at 519-824-1212.

Read more: Guelph police identify pedestrian killed in west-end collision

Guelph has seen an uptick in Bitcoin scams in the past year. Most recently, a woman lost $9,000 in January.

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In 2020, Guelph police reported five Bitcoin scams in the city, including three incidents in November.

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