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Durham police warn against Bitcoin scam

Police are advising residents to be cautious about fraudsters asking you to exchange cheques for the virtual currency Bitcoin, seen here in physical form.

Durham police are warning the public about a new scam involving virtual currencies following several reports from regional residents.

According to a news release, residents have reported being contacted by fraudsters after applying for jobs or responding to online ads that promise to help them make money. The suspects send cheques to the victim and ask them to use that money to purchase Bitcoins, a virtual currency. The victims are then directed to deposit those Bitcoins in a different account, but can keep a portion of the money as payment.

However, after the Bitcoins are deposited, the cheque or e-transfer bounces and the victim is left on the hook for the money.

Police say that some fraudsters using the popular Canada Revenue Agency scam are now requesting to be paid in Bitcoins as part of fraudulent income tax payments.

If you have lost money to this scam, please call the police as thousands of dollars have already been lost in Durham Region thanks to this scam.

Anyone wishing to report a fraud to Durham police is asked to call 1-888-579-1520.