Manitoba

New scam targets bitcoin ATM users, Winnipeg police say

Winnipeg bitcoin ATM users are being warned to take extra care after a scam involving the cryptocurrency was identified by police.

Posters placed next to bitcoin machines claim ATMs are developing new software

Winnipeg police warn bitcoin users they should only send the crytocurrency to their own digital wallet or the wallet of someone they know. (Sarah Rieger/CBC)

Winnipeg bitcoin ATM users are being warned to take extra care after a scam was identified by police.

The financial crime unit has identified a recent scheme in the city involving automated teller machines for the cryptocurrency, police said in a news release Wednesday.

Posters located on or next to the machines claim the bitcoin ATMs are developing new software, police warned.

The posters advise users not to deposit bought bitcoins into their own digital wallets, but instead into a wallet identified through a QR code on the poster.

Posters like this are part of a new scam targeting users of bitcoin ATMs, Winnipeg police say. (Winnipeg Police Service)

Users who follow the instructions on the poster will in fact buy bitcoins and give them to someone else — and they won't be able to get the money back.

Investigators say the posters weren't put up by the owners or operators of the machines.

Police urge users to only send bitcoin into their own wallet or the wallet of someone they know.

Users also should never pay outstanding bills by sending money through a bitcoin ATM, police said. Many payees don't accept bitcoin as payment, including the Canada Revenue Agency, Manitoba Hydro, the Winnipeg Police Service, banks and credit unions.

Const. Tammy Skrabek said no one has reported being scammed to Winnipeg police at this point.

The posters were found at two ATMs in Winnipeg.

The website Coin ATM Radar lists 20 bitcoin ATMs in Winnipeg.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now