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Canadian police issued a public warning on July 19 regarding a concerning trend of high-value crypto investors falling victim to home robberies.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Richmond, located south of Vancouver, reported multiple incidents of similar nature over the past year.
Staff sergeant Gene Hsieh from the Richmond RCMP major crime unit claimed that the criminals behind these robberies specifically target individuals known to be high-value cryptocurrency investors.
Richmond RCMP and Delta Police FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPolice issue warning to high-value cryptocurrency investors following home-invasion style robberies.Date: 2023-07-19For the full News Release, see below:https://t.co/27JLFKcV10#DeltaPolice #DeltaBC pic.twitter.com/7CqONzUdUl— Delta Police Department (@deltapolice) July 19, 2023
The modus operandi of the thieves involves impersonating delivery drivers to gain access to the victims’ homes. Once inside, the suspects seize information that allows them access to the victims’ cryptocurrency accounts.
The police did not disclose detailed information about the individual cases or the total amount of cryptocurrency stolen, as investigations are still underway. However, the authorities confirmed making one arrest concerning these crimes.
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Whether all the incidents are linked remains unclear, but the RCMP issued a public warning to ensure the community’s safety.
Staff Sergeant Jill Long of the Delta Police Investigative Services highlighted that the culprits seem to know the victims’ heavy investments in cryptocurrency and their residential addresses. This suggests a level of planning and organization behind the attacks.
To protect themselves from such robberies, the RCMP advised residents to exercise caution and refrain from allowing strangers or delivery persons into their homes. Instead, they should request deliveries to be left outside.
If any doubt arises, the police recommend contacting the delivery company to verify the person’s identity. In case of perceived danger, authorities should be alerted promptly, the RCMP added.
A departure from cybercrime norms
This recent trend of physical home robberies diverges from more typical cryptocurrency-related crimes, such as online scams and ransomware attacks.
Cybercriminals usually take advantage of blockchain transactions’ anonymity and irreversible nature in those cases. However, in these recent incidents, criminals have resorted to traditional methods of burglary.
Cryptocurrency investors often rely on secure digital wallets to safeguard their assets. Nevertheless, some hardware wallet providers advise users to keep backup seed phrases on paper, making them vulnerable to theft in home invasion scenarios.
Ironically, the RCMP advises concerned crypto owners to trust in centralization by using safety deposit boxes at financial institutions to protect their valuable assets and financial information.
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