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BTM sign helps individuals identify scam

For Immediate Release:05-Mar-2018 @ 7:32 AM
MRU #:18R030

Victims share stories: "If it can happen to me, it can happen to you"

Just as there are multiple pieces to a puzzle, there are multiple people affected by a scam.

Fraud Prevention Month launched last week with a story from Bernie, who got caught in a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam. Bernie deposited money into six different Bitcoin ATM machines (BTMs) throughout the city. It was at her seventh stop at a BTM on 86 Ave. and 109 St. that she realized what was happening.

This particular BTM had a sign on it warning people of the CRA Bitcoin scam. It was this location and this warning sign that helped three other individuals realize that they were being scammed.

"People started coming into the café asking for their money back," said Sohail Zaidi, owner of the 109 St. Remedy Café. "But the machine has nothing to do with our business. I couldn't give them their money back. So instead, I asked the owner of the machine to put up a sign warning people of the scam."

Zaidi is one of two people additionally affected by the scam. The other person is Adam O'Brien, owner of Bitcoin Solutions.

"The signs aren't necessarily good for my business because they bring negative attention to the machines," said O'Brien. "I'm doing it because I don't like that my legitimate business is being used as a medium for fraud."

O'Brien has similar signs on all 18 of his BTMs.

"Online fraud is a growing problem," said Det. Linda Herczeg with Economic Crimes. "The CRA scam is just one example of an online scam. There are so many other types like Romance Scams and Buying & Selling Merchandise. The important thing to remember is to verify the information you are given."

Jerry was selling an expensive electronic item on Kijiji where he found an eager buyer. The interested buyer sent Jerry a photo showing that the money for the transaction had been successfully transferred to Jerry's account. So Jerry mailed the item to the buyer.

Soon after, Jerry realized that he had been scammed. The item was gone and there were no funds in his account.

For additional fraud and crime prevention tips, please visit www.edmontonpolice.ca/Fraud.

If you are a victim of a fraud, or have knowledge of an economic crime, please contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm


Please contact Brittany Lewchuk at (780) 668-7205 for more information.

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