The RCMP is warning business owners in Grande Prairie about a new scam involving bitcoin after a number of recent incidents cost several local operators large sums of money.
Mounties say the suspects call from a number that looks to be from a legitimate energy provider and tell the potential victim that they owe money on their account. The suspect then says if the money is not paid up, the services will be shut off immediately. Victims then receive a ‘bar code’ via text and are directed to a bitcoin machine to pay the money, using the bar code to scan.
Police say when faced with a situation like this, you should always remain skeptical. They have also released a number of tips which could help stay safe, and remain out of the grasp of potential fraudsters.
- Verify the caller or senders phone number or email address – scammers will often create numbers and addresses that are very similar to legitimate ones, or even appearing to be the same. Legitimate businesses do not mind you calling back to verify.
- Inspect emails and documents carefully before making any payments – fraudsters will use company names or logos similar to known businesses to make invoices seem real.
- Know that reputable organizations will never ask for private or personal information through email or text.
Anyone who may have been on the receiving end of one of the deceiving calls is urged to call the police.