Kingston Police warn of investment scams involving Bitcoin

Photo by Aleksi Raisa.

Investing in cryptocurrency is popular right now, and, in a media release, Kingston Police stated that they continue to receive reports of investment scams involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

“Police urge the public not to respond to any solicitations from unknown parties regarding investments, particularly with cryptocurrency,” the release reads. “Anyone wishing to invest in cryptocurrency should exercise their due diligence and be aware of the risks. An online search of the purported Foreign Exchange company will often reveal that it is an unregulated entity located overseas.”

Police suggest always checking to see if the company you plan to invest with is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission: Registered crypto asset trading platforms | OSC

Investment fraud can be easy to recognize when you know what it looks like, according to police, who provided these common warning signs of fraud:

  1. You are promised high returns with little or no risk
  2. You get a hot tip or insider information
  3. You feel pressured to buy
  4. They’re not registered to sell investments

“Cryptocurrency is often unregulated outside of Canada, difficult to trace, and with these scams, the funds almost always end up going overseas where Canadian Police have no authority and are unable to retrieve funds,” Kingston Police said. “It is not a coincidence that for the past couple of years police have recorded a significant increase in the use of cryptocurrency by fraudsters, given the difficulty it poses for investigators.”

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