Police in Winnipeg, the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba, will be better equipped to deal with the use of cryptocurrencies in cybercrime thanks to a $100,000 Canadian dollar (CAD) grant from the provincial government.
Provincial Attorney General Kevin Goertzen said on Aug. 3 that funds from the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund will be used to add five police service personnel through a cryptocurrency tracing certified examiner training program and to purchase specialized software to track cybercriminal activity such as CipherTrace and Blockchain forensics.
According to the Manitoba government, cybercrime increased by more than 370 percent between 2016 and 2020.Trevor Thompson, Winnipeg Police Financial Crimes Unit Say In a statement:
“As cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity and become more widely available, criminals have now migrated to this space and are primarily using cryptocurrencies as a medium to obtain funds from victims. In order to combat the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal enterprises increase, the police have to make adjustments.”
Thompson went on to say Say His office receives seven to eight cybercrime reports a day, most of them related to fraudulent investment schemes that exploit victims’ lack of understanding of how cryptocurrencies work. Many times, the criminal organizations involved are located outside of Canada. Anonymity is also an issue for crypto-related crime, he added.
related: Victoria Police Gain ‘Greater Powers’ to Seize Crypto Assets from Criminals
Thompson Tell Most frauds in Winnipeg and across Canada now use cryptocurrencies in “traditional” romance scams and online employment scams, resulting in “life-changing financial loss and emotional distress,” according to a press release.
The Manitoba Securities Commission is also actively fighting crypto-related cybercrime, and has warned the public about various criminal schemes. Since its inception in 2009, the Manitoba Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund has distributed over $20 million.