Photo: Flickr

Nine Abbotsford citizens fleeced for over $68,000 by bitcoin scammers

Police warn public about fraudsters who threaten arrest

The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) is issuing a warning to the public after nine residents were scammed into sending a total of $68,000 through bitcoin to criminals pretending to work for official institutions.

Sgt. Judy Bird said the scams occurred over the past four months and have seen fraudsters posing as representatives from police agencies, the Canada Revenue Agency, the social insurance office and immigration.

The scammers often threaten victims with arrest if they don’t make a payment for a supposed infraction.

“Many citizens who are victimized are either embarrassed, or actually believe that they are in trouble, so they don’t question the transaction,” Bird said.

She said, in previous years, fraudsters demanded iTunes cards, but they are now demanding that victims make payment using bitcoin.

Bird said these types of frauds are difficult to investigate because bitcoin transactions are unregulated, untraceable and accessible worldwide.

She said the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.

Bird suggested that people remain vigilant and not respond to callers threatening arrest.

“The people who are calling are criminals attempting to extort money from you,” she said.

For more information or to report fraud, visit

RELATED: Scammers are spoofing federal agency phone numbers, Canadian anti-fraud centre says

RELATED: Abbotsford business hit for $8,200 in debit-machine fraud

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Goose in Abbotsford rescued after legs wrapped up in fishing line

Wildlife centre operator says people need to be more careful

240,000 Canadians applied for emergency benefit on morning it opened: Trudeau

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open this week

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Immunocompromised community call for more options to get groceries during COVID-19

One woman has decided to build a greenhouse to ensure she is able to access food throughout pandemic

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Most Read