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Nova Scotian’s warned about an uptick of crypto scams

By Caitlin Snow Dec 19, 2023 | 12:22 PM

Be careful when investing cryptocurrency assets.

The Nova Scotia Securities Commission, Police and RCMP are issuing new warnings for:

— fake crypto-trading websites and platforms – unregistered platforms are being advertised, shared and promoted through social media, online forums, websites and search engine results; most unregistered platforms are located overseas even if they list a North American address on their website and often reference $250 as a safe, easy starting deposit; money deposited on these platforms is stolen, not invested
— fraudsters posing as professional or registered crypto traders – they target people interested in investing in crypto assets who do not have the technical knowledge to do it themselves and simply steal crypto assets and funds from unsuspecting investors.

Crypto asset trading is highly risky:
— when trading in crypto assets, only use crypto-asset trading platforms or dealers registered in Canada; a list of registered platforms is on the commission website at: https://nssc.novascotia.ca/registered-crypto-asset-trading-platforms
— even when using a registered platform, being told to move crypto off an established platform to a wallet that has been set up by someone else is a red flag for fraud
— giving out any personal or financial information, or downloading trading apps or software that allow computer access to another person, such as AnyDesk, creates potential for financial and identity theft
— never use credit cards or lines of credit to invest
— the perpetrators are usually located overseas outside the reach of law enforcement agencies and thus losses from crypto assets scams are often unrecoverable.

They say Nova Scotians lost more than $750,000 to schemes since their last warning in January and March.

The province says to be aware of scams that are on the rise, but also ongoing “pig butchering” schemes that cost Nova Scotians more than $1 million in 2022.

Anyone whose identity has been compromised or who has lost money because of fraud should call Halifax Regional Police at 902-490-5016. Fraud can also be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, which also provides information on current scams.