What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a virtual cryptocurrency that was created by unknown persons in 2008. Transitions are made directly between two parties and is therefore not subject to any regulation and is not controlled by any government or bank. Each bitcoin transaction is recorded by a code which allows buyers and sellers to remain anonymous. This also allows transactions to remain private without it being traced back to the user. Because of its privacy features and lack of regulation, it can be used for illicit purposes including defrauding individuals of their money.
In recent years, fraudsters have pretended to be government and bank employees, representatives of post secondary institutions, and police officers. They often tell the victim that they owe the government/institution/agency money and if payment is not received in Bitcoin, there will be dire consequences including charges being laid.
This is a scam and an attempt to defraud.
- Be advised that NO Canadian government agency, bank, school, or police officer will ever ask for payment in the form of Bitcoin. It is not legal tender in Canada.
- If someone calls you demanding payment in Bitcoin, assume that it is a scam.
- End the call and block the phone number.
- People who are hoping to defraud you will try to obtain valuable information from you. Do not give any personal/identifying information to anyone who has made an unsolicited communication to you claiming to be from a government, police, or financial agency or office:
- Do not provide:
- your name
- banking information
- Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- school information
- If this is a legitimate call, they should already have the information that they need to identify you.
- Ask questions:
- Ask for their name, where they are located, who they represent.
- Verify the caller’s identity and the legitimacy of the call.
- Make a call to the agency/department by looking up the official contact information (not what is provided by the caller).
- If you have received several similar phone calls from different numbers:
- Take note of the numbers if possible and make a report to Campus Safety or to your local police.
- If someone has contacted you demanding any form of payment for a previously unknown bill or debt:
- Please speak to a family member or to a trusted friend/authority figure before making any payments.
- Contact the Community Safety Office or Campus Safety to discuss any concerning communication or demands.
We are here to help.