Sunday, June 16, 2019

Calgary Police Service Wants Your Help to Identify Four Men for Alleged Bitcoin ATM Fraud

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) Cybercrime Team on March 13 made a publication seeking for the public’s assistance to identify four suspects linked to a crime. The latter involves Bitcoin ATMs in several cities in Canada where the cryptocurrency was stolen.

CPS Cybercrime Team Seeks for the Public’s Assistance

Per the publication, CPS Cybercrime Team wants the public to help them in identifying four suspects who allegedly made 112 illegal transactions from Bitcoin ATMs. Therefore the team has provided the pictures of the men and believes that each had committed the crime in a respective location.

These are 7 locations in Canada where the machines can be found and one of such, is Calgary where 51 fraudulent transactions were made. Others are Montreal (27), Toronto (17), Winnipeg (13), Sherwood Park (2), Ottawa (one), and Hamilton (one).

CPS Was Notified of Crime in September 2018

While hinting on how the Bitcoin fraud occurred, CPS outlined that they were first notified of the crime in September last year. After a national investigation with the help of other agencies in the country, they discovered that between Sept. 16 and Sept. 26, about $195,000 had been withdrawn from the machines. Specifically, the Bitcoin ATMs are those offered by a certain Canadian Bitcoin company.

In the same manner, the accused used the method of double spending to take advantage of the machines’ vulnerability. In this case, they were able to make withdrawals and intercept it before the operator could record that such withdrawals were made. As such, it allowed them to withdraw the same funds repeatedly.

CPS Believes the Accused Knowledge About Cryptocurrency

To have achieved this fat, the CPS Cybercrime Team believes that all four men have knowledge of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Their photos were captured by the CCTV cameras in the respective locations that have been named.

The team also said:

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. 

Cybercrime is nothing new and the same can be said about one that is targeted at cryptocurrencies. The anonymity of transactions has been said to be taken advantage of by criminals. These activities have also made institutional investors reluctant to enter the space.

A crime of this nature targeted at Bitcoin ATMs is one of its kind. More popular ones are SIM swap attack, phishing and hack on exchanges. In the case of the latter, Mt Gox, Cryptopia and Coincheck are some exchanges whose security were breached in order to steal funds.

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