Regional police in Canada have issued a warning to local residents about fraudulent investment schemes involving bitcoin.
In a statement tracked by Coindesk, the Durham Regional Police Service, based out of Ontario, said that residents have reportedly been solicited about money-making pitches involving the digital currency that ultimately see them losing funds to the fraudsters.
The police statement said:
“Residents have reported being contacted by fraudsters after applying for jobs or responding to ads online involving a promise to make money. The fraudsters send cheques to the victims and ask them to use the money to purchase bitcoins – a virtual currency used globally.”
“[A]fter the victim uses their own money to purchase the bitcoins, the original cheque or e-transfer bounces,” it explained.
The digital currency is also reportedly being used as part of an income tax scam targeting Durham residents.
While no exact figures about the number of people impacted have been released, police said that residents have lost “several thousands of dollars” as a result. Police have also advised residents to contact them if they have received any information about the scams.
Back in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria has warned all local banks to stay clear of Bitcoin not because it is illegal but because there is no framework for digital currency in the country.
While at that there are several fraudulent Bitcoin investment schemes preying on Nigerians who are oblivious of how digital currency works. The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission has since raised fraud alerts on all digital currency investments as they are not registered as investment securities.