A Red Deer man was nearly scammed out of $90,000 after a phone scam incident. (Black Press File Photo)

Bitcoin scam nearly costs Red Deer man $90k

  • Jul. 7, 2020 1:45 p.m.

It was a simple sign that saved the day for one almost- scammed Red Deer resident.

The Red Deer RCMP said Tuesday that after being alerted to a phone scam late last week, they discovered an individual was nearly scammed out of $90,000.

After the victim was called by the scammers who pretended to be the Canadian Revenue Agency and the RCMP, they were instructed to deposit money into a bitcoin ATM after claiming their identity had been compromised and involved in a money laundering.

The victim went to deposit the money into the bitcoin ATM machine, but an RCMP warning poster and a vigilant employee at the business helped stop the individual from completing the transaction.

“These are not small crimes; people are losing their life savings to these scams,” said Cst. Andrew Devine. “No government agency, the RCMP, nor any reputable business will ever call you and demand a payment through Bitcoin for any reason.”

Bitcoin is a type of non-refundable cryptocurrency or virtual currency. They are unsecured and not considered legal tender in Canada.

The Red Deer RCMP have started an initiative to post warnings on Bitcoin ATMs across the province, warning users of the potential for fraud.

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

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