Perpetrators have impersonated delivery drivers in order to break into the homes of victims to steal cryptocurrency.
A Canadian police department has issued a public warning of a possible trend where high-value cryptocurrency investors are being robbed in their own homes.
On July 19, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Richmond, a city south of Vancouver, said several similar robberies involving cryptocurrency investors have occurred over the last 12 months.
Staff Sergeant Gene Hsieh of the Richmond RCMP Major Crime Unit said someone is “targeting these victims for cryptocurrency” and believed a public warning was necessary for public safety.
The RCMP didn’t release specific details on the incidents but explained in each case the perpetrator impersonated a delivery driver before robbing the victim.
“The suspects gain access to a victim’s home by posing as delivery people or persons of authority. Once let inside the home, the suspects rob the victims of information that gives access to their cryptocurrency accounts.”
Staff Sergeant Jill Long of the Delta Police Investigative Services said the suspects appear to know that the victims are “heavily” invested in cryptocurrency along with knowledge of where they live.
The police department confirmed it made one arrest but has not confirmed whether several incidents are linked. It did not provide specific details about the incidents or how much cryptocurrency was stolen as the investigations are still ongoing.
To avoid a home robbery the department advised not letting strangers or delivery people — whether seemingly legitimate or not — into the household and instead ask them to leave deliveries outside.
If in doubt, a call should be made to the delivery company to confirm the person’s identity and authorities should be called if danger is or appears imminent.
Valuables and financial information should be kept somewhere safe within the household, such as a safety box, the police advised.
More generally the police recommend only discussing financial matters in private — not on social media — and only with trusted people.
In March, Canada’s self-proclaimed “Crypto King” — Aiden Pleterski — was allegedly kidnapped, falsely imprisoned and assaulted by five men who fell for an apparent cryptocurrency scheme from Pleterski.
One of the men, who reportedly invested 740,000 Canadian dollars ($560,000) into the scheme, was charged with kidnapping Pleterski on July 17, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.