Red Deer RCMP would like to remind people to be cautious when making investments in cryptocurrencies.
In 2021, Red Deerians have reported to the RCMP losses of approximately $200,000 to cryptocurrency thefts, frauds and/or investment scams. Here are some tips to safe guard your identity and keep your money safe:
Do your homework first. Research the company or exchange you are about to trust your money with. Some red flags are:
– Unregistered exchange/broker
– Excessive fees
– Online reviews stating they are a scam
– Little to no collection of personal information
– High pressure sales tactics
Some positive things to look for:
– Exchanges/brokers registered with a provincial securities commission or FINTRAC
– Multiple positive online reviews from different cryptocurrency news sites
– Be aware of Initial Coin Offerings. While there are frequently ICO’s (there are currently over 10,000 different cryptocurrencies) some of are simply scams.
There are a number of reputable Canadian-based exchanges, as well as International based exchanges, but there are also some that are outright scams.
Do not trust everything you see on the Internet.
If something feels off about the company or exchange, look into it more before trusting them with money. We put hours of research into a new TV, holiday destination or new car. If you are going to trust a company with potentially thousands of dollars, treat it the same as buying a car. Read up on the exchange, the cryptocurrency you are buying and in general, educate yourself about what you are doing before committing to it.
If you are the victim of a cryptocurrency related crime, report it to your local police department. Despite what some reports claim, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not “untraceable”. The Red Deer RCMP Fraud/Cybercrime unit have officers experienced in these complex investigations.