Two Nanaimo hotels lose $1700 after bitcoin scam calls

Two Nanaimo hotels lose $1700 after bitcoin scam calls
File Photo
Police say the employees were instructed to make deposits to bitcoin ATMs

Nanaimo RCMP is warning businesses about potential money scams after two bitcoin fraud calls resulted in nearly $1700 losses from two hotels.

The first of the incidents involved an employee receiving a call from someone claiming to be from the hotel’s head office by the name of John Davis, according to police.

RELATED: ‘Sophisticated’ bitcoin fraud bilks two stores out of thousands of dollars: VicPD

Police were told that Davis said he was having issues delivering a package to the hotel that contained a business license and items for a health inspection. He also claimed the hotel would be shut down if the package didn’t arrive in 24 hours and money had to be sent to FedEx immediately.

Police say the employee, figuring he would be reimbursed by the company, used almost $1000 of his own money and a smaller amount of company money to cover the shipping cost.

The employee was instructed to deposit the money into an ATM that only deals with bitcoin.

The employee told police he confirmed it was a scam after talking to their real head office.

Police say the second incident was almost identical to the first and the employee deposited $500 of their own money into an ATM that only deals with bitcoin.

“It’s not hard to see why people fall for these types of scams. There is an urgency to it and it seems legitimate,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP in a press release Thursday.

“Employees, however, must always ensure they know who they are dealing with when it comes to financial transactions and confirm by various means that the request is authentic.”

Nanaimo RCMP says businesses and employees should follow these tips to stay safer financially:

  • Always know who you are dealing with
  • Double-check the reference
  • Limit the amount of money employees have authority for without a second signature
  • Request the information in writing and do not accept money requests over the phone
  • Familiarize yourself with how your company conducts financial transactions.

To learn more about frauds and scams go, Nanaimo RCMP says to go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud website.


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