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.
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.
“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.
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.
Guelph has seen an uptick in Bitcoin scams in the past year. Most recently, a woman lost $9,000 in January.
In 2020, Guelph police reported five Bitcoin scams in the city, including three incidents in November.