Calgary Police Service seeking the public's assistance in a cyber crime investigation,
Four men wanted, photos released
Broadcast time: 11:50
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
The Calgary Police Service (CPS) Cybercrime Team is seeking the public's assistance to identify four individuals alleged to be involved in a bitcoin fraud.
In October 2018, the CPS Cybercrime Team received information about multiple fraudulent transactions that had been made across the country, specifically targeting one Canadian bitcoin company.
It is alleged that:
- between Sunday, September 16, 2018, and Wednesday, September 26, 2018, 112 fraudulent transactions had been made at bitcoin kiosks in seven cities across Canada
- Fifty-one of these fraudulent transactions occurred in Calgary, with the rest occurring in Toronto (17), Montreal (27), Ottawa (one), Hamilton (one), Winnipeg (13) and Sherwood Park (two)
As a result, the CPS Cybercrime Team began leading a national investigation, with assistance from agencies across the country including the Toronto Police Service, Hamilton Police Service, Winnipeg Police Service and Halton Regional Police Service.
It is believed that:
- the suspects were committing “double-spend” attacks
- a suspect attended a bitcoin kiosk and successfully withdrew money before remotely cancelling their transactions prior to the bitcoin company processing the withdrawal
- the total dollar loss to the bitcoin company as a result of these fraudulent transactions was $195,000
Investigators believe that all 112 fraudulent transactions were committed by a group of individuals located across the country who were working together.
Police are seeking public assistance to identify four individuals who are alleged to be involved. CCTV images of the suspects are available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
All four suspects are described as men and are believed to have in-depth knowledge or interest in cryptocurrency, bitcoin and/or blockchain technology.
- #1 suspect is believed to be responsible for transactions that occurred in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Hamilton
- #2 suspect is believed to be responsible for transactions that occurred in Calgary
- #3 suspect is believed to be responsible for transactions that occurred in Winnipeg
- #4 suspect is believed to be responsible for transactions that occurred in Sherwood Park
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. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers through either of the following methods:
Case #18453695 / 5075
The Calgary Police Service Cybercrime Team conducts and supports investigations into any crime that is found to have a connection to cyberspace. This includes investigations such as fraud, drug trafficking, child exploitation, and missing persons.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2222, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.
For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.
Constable Caroline de Kloet, Corporate Communications, for Calgary Police Service