Protect yourself against scams!

Don't send anyone bitcoin!

Many fraudsters use tricks and intimidation to try to make you part with your hard earned money. Your hard earned bitcoin. We’ve seen a lot of these during our 10+ years in bitcoin. I am writing this to urge you to please read through this list, be on the lookout for someone who many be targeting you but most importantly be diligent and DO NOT send any bitcoin to anyone for any reason. These scams are not new. The methods and intimidation they use are not new. The method of payment has gone from prepaid sim cards, to iTunes gift cards, to prepaid credit cards and has now migrated to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Quick scam generalizations

Scams are constantly evolving, and often law enforcement is a step behind in terms of education. Most scams follow similar patterns to be on the lookout for:

  • Promises outside of the norm (higher than normal investment returns, a great job opportunity, etc)
  • Time sensitive issues
  • Communication through messaging platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • Warnings not to talk to loved ones

Not all of these triggers are always present in every scam. We have outlined a few popular scams below. Please read and identify any potential triggers that you might be experiencing. 

If you are the victim of a scam, your information will be shared with other scammers and you will be a target in the future. In order to protect yourself:

    • Do not answer any phone calls you do not recognize.
    • Do not let anyone have access to your computer remotely
    • Chat to your family and friends for support
    • Call the Canadian Anti-Fraud centre at 1-888-495-8501 if you think you might be the victim


Types of scams

This is by no means an extensive list, but it should hit some of the trigger points if you feel you might be a victim. Again, I urge you, use your better judgement. If you have someone you don’t know, promising better than average returns, with “financial products” you don’t understand, it is likely a scam. Here are some of the common ones we’ve seen:

  1. Love scam
  2. Investment scam
  3. Loan scam
  4. CRA scam
  5. Employment scam
  6. Immigration scam
  7. Package/eBay scam

Keep reading for a breakdown of each scam.

Love scam

Love scams are usually designed by someone living outside of Canada. They are long-term scams that typically target both men and women over the age of 40. The scammer spends a lot of time getting the victim to love and trust them while slowly moving value from the victim’s bank to the scammer’s pocket. This is a business to them, and they are in it for the long haul. The facade and scam can go on for months, and sometimes even years. Common signs that you may be a victim of a love scam:

  • You’ve never met in real life, only online through messaging/video calls
  • Only communicate through messaging platforms (WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal) 
  • Often need bitcoin to pay for seemingly legitimate purchases (medicine, travel expenses, gifts, etc)

It is very reasonable to want to send money to someone you have taken an online interest in. However, you can protect yourself by ensuring you never send money to someone you haven’t met in person. If you think you might be involved in a love scam, talk to your friends and family for support and end all communications with the suspected scammer. Seek help and understand how to protect yourself by visiting {website}. Do not send bitcoin to anyone you have not met in real life. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible and the money will be lost.

Netflix’s “Tinder Swindler” does a great job showing how someone can pull this off with multiple victims. It is heartbreaking on so many fronts. 

Investment scam

Investment scams are usually designed by someone from within Canada (or at least pretending to be). They usually start with the victim making first contact by responding to an ad or seeking help investing in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. These scammers are prevalent online advertising, in Telegram investment groups, Facebook,Kijiji and other places. They all promise (and in some cases, deliver in the short term) the same thing – quick and easy money.

The scam will usually start with a small investment (sometimes as small as a couple of hundred dollars) sent to their “ trading platform”. The promise is usually a trading bot or website that guarantees profits. In order to hook the victim in, the scammer will often encourage the victim to cash out a little bit. This builds trust and gives the victim the illusion of control, all while convincing the victim to deposit more. Eventually, the scammer will keep the funds and the victim will have lost their money.

The key for the fraudster with this scam is patience on their end. This is the long con. The scammers are able to manipulate data to show pretend profits and returns on their platform. The money the victim has sent is not actually invested, or being actively traded.

If you suspect you are the victim of an investment scam, it is best to cease contact immediately. It is likely you will be contact by the scam artist. They often have clever ploys and follow-up scams to continue stealing money. A few examples are:


  • Withdraw fee to return the invested funds
  • Discounts on future trading programs
  • Posing as a recovery agency to recover lost funds for a fee

Please understand there is no way to recover those funds. To protect yourself end all communications with the suspected scammer. Seek help and understand how to protect yourself by visiting

Loan scam

This is similar to the investment scam, but often with loans involved. Someone posing as a loan company will claim to be partnered with Bitcoin Well. 

They will often tell you that you are pre-approved for a loan (typically under $5,000) and once you send a security deposit you will receive your loan. 

The loan details look attractive. But it never comes. Once you send your security deposit you will not receive your loan. It is important to note that these organizations are not affiliated with Bitcoin Well. 

Common “organizations” that partake in this practice are:

  • Brenlock 

Please be on the lookout and do not send any money!

CRA scam

The CRA scam has the scammer calling the victim telling them that they owe the Government of Canada back taxes, and if they are not paid immediately they will be arrested and will face fraud charges. The victim is told how much is owed and told to send the money to the CRA through a Bitcoin ATM to the address provided as payment for the overdue taxes. The scammer will attempt to keep the victim on the phone for the whole process to keep them scared, confused, and distracted. 

The CRA does not take bitcoin! Please do not send bitcoin to anyone pretending to be the CRA, no matter how much they yell and threaten you. They are often calling from another country and will not arrest you. If you are not sure, please hang up and call the CRA directly.

Employment scam

Employment scams can seem very legitimate. They often advertise work from home opportunities, with flexible hours and high hourly wages.These ads target young people, stay at home parents, and single parents who think they might like to earn extra income while at home. After submitting a real application, the victim will go through a real interview process and are then notified they have been hired and can start work right away. This is when the scam starts.


The victim will be required to purchase certain work materials (example: laptop, gift cards, bitcoin, etc).. The scammers will send the victim a cheque, e-transfer or other form of payment, and ask the victim to deposit it directly into their personal bank account. The “employer” (scam artist) will then request the items purchased be sent to the employer. There is usually urgency and pressure from the “employer” to do this within hours of receiving the cheque. 


The problem lies in the days and weeks following, the cheque will bounce and be marked fraudulent.The victim’s bank account will have a reversal and the victim will have lost those funds. 


If you believe you are currently employed by an Employment Scam, please cease contact immediately. DO NOT return any funds, or fulfil any “work” duties involving your personal bank account. Seek help and understand how to protect yourself by visiting If you are actively involved, please call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501

Immigration scam

The immigration scam targets victims who have an accent. The scammers will cold call people until coming across someone with an accent and then tell the victim that they are from Canada Immigration and due to some legal matters the victim will be deported immediately unless they pay the legal fees owing. 

The victim is then told to send the money through a Bitcoin ATM to the Bitcoin wallet the scammer provides. The scammer will attempt to keep the victim on the phone for the whole process to keep them scared, confused and distracted.

This scam can be one of the scariest. It is important to remember that immigration fees are only paid in local, legal tender. Bitcoin is not included in that list and therefore should not be sent to anyone posing to be an immigration officer.

Package/eBay scam

In this scam, the fraudster generally poses as someone who is delivering you a package. If you are like me, you constantly have packages coming to your house (Amazon Prime is a real life saver!) which makes these links easy to fall for. Generally speaking, they come from emails or phone numbers that appear to be close to legitimate, but they aren’t. 

The scam starts by getting you to click a link claiming to be “fees for package delivery”. Often, your “spidey senses” can perk up if:

  • You land on a suspicious website
  • They only accept bitcoin/cryptocurrency for payment

The same applies for most goods you might purchase on eBay, Kijiji, Alibaba and Facebook Marketplace. They will often present you with a really good deal on a piece of furniture, vehicle or product that you have been searching for. They will request payment in bitcoin and the product will either never come, or will be fraudulent. 

This scam is tricky to detect, so please be diligent!

Are you a victim?

Don’t be embarrassed! It happens to the best of us. What is important is knowing how to protect yourself moving forward. 

First and foremost, DO NOT COMMUNICATE! There is no chance of recovering your money once it has been sent. The fraudster might be so bold as to request money to help you recover it. Or, if they have access to your computer, will continue the scam without your knowledge. Remember to change your passwords, remove any apps that you don’t recognize from your devices and halt communication immediately. 

The  Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can be a great resource and can be reached at 1-888-495-8501.


Stay safe out there my friends, there are many grifters who will do whatever they can to part you from your money. Be diligent and hold on tight to your private keys.

Stay sovereign 🫡

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