Saturday, 23 March, 2019

$200k Bitcoin Fraud: Four Suspects Sought by Calgary Police

Bitcoin double spending Calgary police look to identify 4 suspects in $200k Canada-wide bitcoin fraud
Priscilla Morrison | 14 March, 2019, 21:38

The Toronto Police Service says in a news release that the Calgary Police Service received information in October about "multiple fraudulent transactions that had been made across the country, specifically targeting one Canadian bitcoin company".

The transactions all targeted a Canadian bitcoin company that police are not identifying and resulted in a loss of 195-thousand dollars.

Almost half, 51, of the transactions allegedly occurred in Calgary.

In the Canadian attacks on Bitcoin ATMs, the suspects are accused of initiating transactions and then remotely cancelling them before the kiosk/ATM company could process them.

Four suspects have been caught on surveillance footage, and are all described as adult men who likely have in-depth knowledge in cryptocurrency, bitcoin, and blockchain technology.

The men's identities are still unknown, therefor the Calgary police chose to turn to the public to ask for help in identifying the criminals.

Calgary is home to a total number of 45 Bitcoin ATMs, but only 21 of them support Bitcoin sales.

More news: Spotify files European Union antitrust complaint against Apple

It seems that replace-by-fee tools, developed by Peter Todd, the developer of Bitcoin Core, were what allowed the transactions to go through. The cities which fell victim to the attack include Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Sherwood Park, Ottawa and Hamilton.

CPS believes that the suspects committed the so-called "double spending".

Agencies including the Toronto Police Service, Hamilton Police Service, Winnipeg Police Service and Halton Regional Police Service are assisting CPS.

This man is suspected of making fraudulent withdrawals in Winnipeg.

Reportedly, 4 individuals, whose identities remain unknown, were aware of an exploit which meant that zero confirmation transactions were possible in these ATMs.

0-conf transactions are instantaneous; once the transaction is sent to the Bitcoin mempool, it is deemed completed despite the fact that miners haven't yet "mined" a block containing the transaction. Those with information on the case can submit anonymous tips.

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