Police seek four suspects in bitcoin fraud investigation
Police seek four suspects in bitcoin fraud investigation
Crypto-fiat criminals of Canada
14 March, 2019, 21:35
Police in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Hamilton, Halton and other Canadian centres after hunting for four men seen above who stole almost $200,000 by employing a trick known as a double spending attack. Police say 17 transactions were made in Toronto, 27 in Montreal, 13 in Winnipeg, two in Sherwood Park and one in Ottawa.
The transactions all targeted a Canadian bitcoin company that police are not identifying and resulted in a loss of 195-thousand dollars.
One specific company was targeted through these scams, with 51 of the transactions happening in Calgary, leading local investigators to take charge in the case.
Police say the suspects were committing "double-spend" attacks - a type of fraud where someone withdraws money from a Bitcoin kiosk before remotely cancelling the transaction before the Bitcoin company can process the transaction.
"All four suspects are described as men and are believed to have in-depth knowledge or interest in cryptocurrency, bitcoin and/or blockchain technology", according to Toronto police.
Between Sept. 16 and 26, four men were captured on CCTV cameras making 112 withdrawals from Bitcoin kiosks in seven Canadian cities. The fact of the matter remains that cryptocurrency of any kind is susceptible to double-spending, including bitcoin.
Calgary is home to a total number of 45 Bitcoin ATMs, but only 21 of them support Bitcoin sales.
CPS believes that the suspects committed the so-called "double spending". Further, there is a "double spend" tool that also seems to be at the heart of the transactions. In addition, you can optionally specify that the first transaction additional OP-RETURN, multisig, and "blacklisted" address outputs.
Reportedly, 4 individuals, whose identities remain unknown, were aware of an exploit which meant that zero confirmation transactions were possible in these ATMs.
Looking for the suspects, Calgary Police are being aided by other law enforcement agencies, including the Toronto Police, the Winnipeg Police Service, and more. All pertinent information regarding the suspects can be anonymously submitted to the police.
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