Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Police on nationwide hunt for suspected Bitcoin fraudsters

Police on nationwide hunt for suspected Bitcoin fraudsters

True, cyber attacks, especially through cryptocurrencies are common in just about any country; however, if there was a record keeper, this has got to be one of the worst hits so far.

Calgary police are looking to the public to help identify four men suspected in a $200,000 bitcoin fraud that included attacks in seven Canadian cities. Calgary police say they began investigating the matter in October 2018 after receiving a tip-off.

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.

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. Although the tools were not specifically created for such criminal activity, the tools essentially enable "stuck" transactions become "unstuck" when one pays an extra fee.

The Calgary Police Service cybercrime team conducts and supports investigations into any crime that is found to have a connection to cyberspace, including fraud, drug trafficking, child exploitation and missing persons.

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"Creates two transactions in succession".

The attacks were carried out at a point that the Bitcoin ATMs accepted zero-confirmation transactions.

Calgary police, in collaboration with Ontario and Manitoba authorities, acquired CCTV images featuring the suspects which are thought to "have in-depth knowledge or interest in cryptocurrency, bitcoin and/or blockchain technology".

Per Todd, it also allows users to "optionally specify that the first transaction additional OP-RETURN, multisig, and "blacklisted" address outputs".

0-conf transactions are instantaneous; once the transaction is sent to the Bitcoin mempool, it is deemed completed despite the fact that miners haven't yet "mined" a block containing the transaction. These ATMs are owned by several companies including Bitnational, Bitcoin Solutions, and Bitcoiniacs, with some of them having daily sales limit of up to $9000.

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