Canada has been battling with confusing targeted attacks on their bitcoin users. Since the summer of 2019, Canadians wanting to get their bitcoin from the ATM have been seeing the sign stating that the BATMs were out of order.
The fraudulent activity is mainly concentrated in Winnipeg, Canada, and the criminals are using the regular posters, sticking them onto the ATMs and confusing the users.
The Police have been trying to warn the citizens, even issuing a warning back in August that following instructions on the poster would lead to the users losing their assets completely.
Now the residents of Winnipeg are wondering how to access their cryptos in a different way and how to avoid getting scammed by these on-going schemes.
Why crypto and ATMs don’t go together
For those strongly advocating that the cryptocurrencies stay exclusively in the digital realm, this serves as just another argument that you should not mix the two worlds together. While mostly deemed as safer and faster, when used through the same services as we would with the regular cash, cryptocurrencies might actually be more vulnerable.
Canada has an overwhelmingly high number of ATMs located at every corner and for the past year, they have proven to be more of a challenge than a perk. ATMs and BATMs have caused more trouble in the last year than they have done any good. Right now more people are talking about the placements of these ATMs and how so many of them seem to be located just outside casinos and this is so common that most people don’t even notice it.
Specifically, when talking about the BATMs, it’s important to know that even though the service is effective, it is not cut out for cryptocurrency specifically. More and more establishments sare raising awareness about the fact that missing up cryptocurrencies and ATMs may not be the best idea. Online casinos, especially Spinia CA, have come out time and time again, stating that nothing resembling Bitcoin should be trusted in the physical world and should be left to the digital world.
This makes a lot of sense because the technology was developed specifically for online usage, and trying to morph it into a regular currency can only bring more challenges and confusion for people trying to understand this relatively new currency.
How did we get here?
The hackers that got the hold of these ATMs performed a low-tech hack attack. By attaching these posters these scammers are confusing the users, asking them to follow unusual steps and scan the QR code provided instead of depositing their bitcoin into their own wallets, as a part of some sort of software update. The police at this point has stopped trying to get back the money that was lost due to the scam and are just issuing warnings to let people know that these posters are in fact inauthentic and if they follow the instructions that appear on the screen they will end up losing their assets.
Canada has embraced cryptocurrencies in many ways and the adoption levels over there are quite high compared to the majority of the countries. They have found great use for this frictionless payment method that offers security and transparency but they haven’t been as good at keeping the industry within its own lane.
And this isn’t even the only crime connected to the ATMs or controversies surrounding it. Just recently a couple of restaurant owners got a call from the alleged energy companies saying that their due payment didn’t go through and they needed to get to the nearest ATM and deposit around $1000 CAD or the power would be cut off. One of the restaurant owners in New Brunswick fell for the scam, and after depositing the first $1000 CAD she was told that the payment failed to go through again and that she needed to deposit an additional $800 CAD yet again. After this, the owner finally contacted the police who confirmed that it was actually a part of a criminal scheme.
The best thing for the Canadian officials to do right now, to reduce these cases to a minimum is to temporarily suspend the BATM service because clearly the population is still getting tricked into giving away their private information while the police aren’t able to do anything about it.
Leaving cryptocurrencies for the online world and focusing on the safety of the users is the best thing one can do for not only the industry and its reputation but for the users as well.
The convenience of the ATMs is virtually unnecessary when we are dealing with cryptocurrencies because everything can be accessed online and utilized online. This is one of the distinguishable features of the blockchain-based currency.
Since these scams have been going on for quite some time now, they will likely not stop happening in the future as well which is why the Canadian authorities need to step up their game to ensure the safety of their own residents.