Bitcoin, the controversial digital cryptocurrency that routinely makes headlines due to its volatility and its frequent use by cybercrime actors, is currently at the center of a law enforcement investigation in the Canadian province of Ontario.
A notice to consumers issued by the Durham Regional Police Service warns about an ongoing scam involving the use of bitcoins to defraud people looking for employment opportunities. The fraudulent activity is taking place online, and it starts with victims responding to internet postings that promise jobs or quick ways to make money.
Durham police explained that the scheme mechanism consisted of wire check transfers made to the accounts of victims, who were instructed to purchase bitcoins and to open digital wallets so that the digital currency could be transferred to the scammers. The loss of funds occurred when the victims realized that the electronic check sent to them bounced or was recalled.
Investigators estimate that thousands of dollars have been lost among several Durham residents who have fallen for this flimflam in 2017. There is also a concern among police detectives that this scam could take other forms such as perpetrators posing as government employees requesting that income tax payments be made to them; this swindle would purportedly include a demand to purchase bitcoins as well.
The problem with bitcoins is that they can be handled in a way that makes them virtually anonymous. This is an inherent feature of this cryptocurrency; although it is based on the public blockchain, consumers may not be able to uncover the identity of the first person who acquired bitcoins or else converted them to Canadian dollars or some other fiat currency.
OneCoin, a Safer Alternative to BitCoin
As the current situation stands, bitcoins are becoming dangerous because they lack a centralized system that applies safe financial practices such as Know Your Customer, better known as KYC. Nonetheless, digital currencies are certainly the future of finance; for this reason, people are starting to consider safer alternatives.
Digital wallets are starting to gain popularity among consumers; the problem with this solution is that there are too many digital wallet providers following different protocols, particularly in terms of security. Although there may come a day when the financial industry agrees upon a common set of standards for digital wallets, the world is ready for solutions such as OneCoin, a digital currency based on a private blockchain that has several advantages over Bitcoin.
What makes OneCoin so desirable is that it has established a blockchain that allows transactions to be tracked and traced to the point of origin. Furthermore, this digital currency follows strict KYC guidelines so that users can feel comfortable knowing who they are transacting money with.
Should more cases of fraudulent activity carried out with bitcoins be reported, people should seriously start looking for alternatives.