Cybercriminals have gone to great lengths to steal cryptocurrency, from sophisticated phishing scams, to advanced malware and even hacking attempts. However, some scammers in a Canadian town decided to use one of the least complicated methods: a simple printed poster.
Why go out of your way to develop sophisticated software when a simple homemade poster hang on a crypto ATM can do the job, right? Well, this is what these con artists in the city of Winnipeg decided to turn to as revealed by City News.
The poster indicates that the ATM is currently undergoing software updating and that the user should not scan the QR code as is the norm. The poster then details a step-by-step method on how the user should deposit the crypto. The poster even states that due to the inconvenience caused by the software updates, the commission charged is temporarily reduced to just 3%.
However, the steps indicated are just an elaborate scheme to have the users deposit the crypto into the scammers’ wallet.
The Winnipeg Police Service Financial Crime Unit identified the scam and brought it to light in a recent press release. The police further warned the residents, “Before using a bitcoin ATM, you should familiarize yourself with cryptocurrency in general and how transactions work. You should only purchase and send bitcoin into your own wallet or the wallet of someone you know.”
The posters were found in 2 of the city’s 20 crypto ATMs. The city is home to around 700,000 people. According to the police, no one has fallen for the trick yet.
While the scam was rather simplistic and obvious for advanced crypto users, it sheds a light on the potential of ATMs to propagate scams and other illegal activities including money laundering. In Canada, the city of Vancouver proposed a ban on crypto ATMs two months ago, citing increased cases of money laundering.
Vancouver has been one of the cities that have pioneered in the deployment of Bitcoin ATMs, with 76 of them in the city. However, as CoinGeek reported, the city’s Mayor revealed that there has been a surge in criminal use of the ATMs. While Vancouver is third to Toronto and Montreal in number of crypto ATMs, such an action could have ripple effects, leading to similar bans in the other cities.
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