Calgary, AB,
12
March
2019
|
17:17
America/Denver

Seeking public assistance in cybercrime investigation

The Calgary Police Service Cybercrime Team is seeking public assistance to identify four individuals alleged to be involved in a bitcoin fraud.

In October 2018, the CPS Cybercrime Team received information about multiple fraudulent transactions that had been made across the country, specifically targeting one Canadian bitcoin company. It is alleged that between Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, and Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, 112 fraudulent transactions had been made at bitcoin kiosks in seven cities across Canada. Fifty-one of these fraudulent transactions occurred in Calgary, with the rest occurring in Toronto (17), Montreal (27), Ottawa (1), Hamilton (1), Winnipeg (13) and Sherwood Park (2).

As a result, the CPS Cybercrime Team began leading a national investigation, with assistance from agencies across the country including the Toronto Police Service, Hamilton Police Service, Winnipeg Police Service and Halton Regional Police Service.

It is believed that the suspects were committing “double-spend” attacks, where a suspect attended a bitcoin kiosk and successfully withdrew money before remotely cancelling their transactions prior to the bitcoin company processing the withdrawal. The total dollar loss to the bitcoin company as a result of these fraudulent transactions was $195,000.

Investigators believe that all 112 fraudulent transactions were committed by a group of individuals located across the country who were working together. Police are seeking public assistance to identify four individuals who are alleged to be involved. 

All four suspects are described as adult males and are believed to have in-depth knowledge or interest in cryptocurrency, bitcoin and/or blockchain technology.

  • The first suspect is believed to be responsible for transactions that occurred in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Hamilton.
  • The second suspect is believed to be responsible for transactions that occurred in Calgary.
  • The third suspect is believed to be responsible for transactions that occurred in Winnipeg.
  • The fourth suspect is believed to be responsible for transactions that occurred in Sherwood Park.

Anyone with information about the identity of any of these suspects is asked to call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, regardless of what jurisdiction they live in. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers through either of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477TYPE: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org

Case #18453695 / 5075

The Calgary Police Service Cybercrime Team conducts and supports investigations into any crime that is found to have a connection to cyberspace. This includes investigations such as fraud, drug trafficking, child exploitation, and missing persons.

Each year, during the month of March, the Calgary Police Service takes part in a month-long crime prevention initiative known as Fraud Prevention Month. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the national campaign, with CPS participating with other community partners and law enforcement agencies at the provincial level. Fraud Prevention Month aims to educate citizens about how to recognize, report and stop fraud. CPS also works to inform people about the available resources for those who have experienced fraud or scam activity.