Canadian police in the city of Toronto are searching for four suspects believed to be involved in the loss of CAD195,000 (USD146,500) from fraudulent transactions made through several Bitcoin ATMs. The police are appealing to the public for information to identify the suspects who remain at large.
The Toronto Police Service issued a news release on March 13 saying that the Calgary Police Service Cybercrime Team (CPSCT) became aware of a string of such incidents in October 2018.
Within a space of just 10 days in September last year, a total of 112 fraudulent transactions had been made across seven Canadian cities – Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, Winnipeg, and Sherwood Park. The incidents all seemed to be specifically targeting one particular Canadian Bitcoin company.
Following a national investigation, CPSCT believes that the suspects committed double-spend attacks, where a suspect successfully withdraws money from a Bitcoin ATM only to cancel the transaction remotely afterward before the Bitcoin company is able to finish processing the transaction on its back end.
According to Toronto police, “all four suspects are described as men and are believed to have in-depth knowledge or interest in cryptocurrency, bitcoin and/or blockchain technology.”