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Spike in Bitcoin-related scams prompts police warning

Shutterstock Canada Revenue Agency does not want your Bitcoin. That’s the message from New Westminster Police following a recent spike in reports of scammers demanding the virtual currency.

 Bitcoin-related scams are on this rise in the Lower Mainland. ShutterstockShutterstock

Canada Revenue Agency does not want your Bitcoin.

That’s the message from New Westminster Police following a recent spike in reports of scammers demanding the virtual currency.

Police say they’ve received reports of citizens getting calls from people posing at Canada Revenue Agency employees. The scammers tell the victims they have overdue taxes and unless they want to go to prison, they have to pay immediately using Bitcoin, according to a police press release.

“The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does not want Bitcoin,” said police spokesperson Sgt. Jeff Scott in a press release. “Furthermore, we would like to remind everyone that the CRA does not contact people by telephone and the CRA never arrests anyone for outstanding balances owed.”

It’s believed the scammers are using a device that allows them to manipulate their phone numbers so the call looks as though it is coming from the CRA or a police department, according to the release.

If anyone receives a phone call from someone claiming to be from CRA and asking for Bitcoins, they are asked to contact police.

Read more from the New West Record