AURORA, Ont. – Police say more than 40 residents in communities north of Toronto have fallen victim to a Bitcoin tax scam, sending over $300,000 to fraudsters since August.
York regional police say they have seen a significant increase in reports of scammers identifying themselves as Canada Revenue Agency employees.
The suspects tell victims they have overdue taxes to pay, and threaten them with arrest if they don’t settle up.
In recent months, the scammers have persuaded victims to send them money using the virtual currency Bitcoin.
Officers say Bitcoin transactions are unregulated and untraceable, making it difficult to investigate the frauds.
Police in York Region have advised the public that any calls or emails asking for Bitcoin tax payments should be treated as a scam.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said it has received more than 2,000 complaints in 2017 from people across the country who have been defrauded by someone pretending to work for the CRA.
Of those victims, over 100 reported using a digital currency like Bitcoin to pay the scammers.