Calgarians lost $22.5m due to crypto scams, Canadian police say
Although Calgary citizens reported 340 cryptocurrency scam cases this year, police believe scams are ‘vastly underreported.’
Citizens of Calgary, Canada, have been targeted by at least 340 cases of scam in 2023, losing a total sum of more than $22.5 million worth of crypto, according to the Calgary Police Service.
In a press release on Oct. 17, police said the latest figure is up 60% from last year’s totals when Calgarians lost around $14 million in 321 reported cases. However, the officials noted that the real scale of incidents is larger, given that scams “are believed to be vastly underreported.”
“It is important for citizens to know that while cryptocurrency can be used legitimately, fraudsters often lure victims with promises of a quick way to make money.”
Staff Sergeant Graeme Smiley of the Calgary Police Service Cyber Forensics Unit
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Police encouraged victims of crypto scams to report cases by calling the non-emergency number.
Canadian citizens lost over half a billion dollars to fraud schemes in 2022, according to calculations done by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The figure marks a 40% increase from 2021 when Canadians lost $380 million due to scams.
On a global scale, the crypto industry lost almost $890 million in Q3 2023 due to hacks, scams, and rug pulls, more than cumulative losses in the first half of the year, as noted by analysts at Beosin. Over the past quarter, more than $540 million were lost in 43 cyberattacks, with $282.9 million and $66.1 million lost in 81 rug pulls and phishing scams, respectively.
Cryptocurrency investors often rely on secure digital wallets to safeguard their assets. Nevertheless, some hardware wallet providers advise users to keep backup seed phrases on paper, making them vulnerable to theft in home invasion scenarios.