Winnipeg police get their funding to bolster cybercrime efforts in the sphere of cryptocurrency. The Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund provided funding to the Winnipeg police department to support the delivery of the Cryptocurrency Tracing Certified Examiner course.
Thanks to $100,000 in money supplied by the provincial government, police in Winnipeg, the capital of the Canadian state of Manitoba, will be better equipped to cope with the use of Bitcoin in cybercrime.
Kevin Goertzen, the provincial justice minister, announced on August 3 that the funds from the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund would be used to train five more police officers as Certified Examiners in Cryptocurrency Tracing as well as to buy specialized software to track cybercrime activities like CipherTrace and Blockchain Forensics.
While Winnipeg police get their funding it is relevant to note that cybercrime has surged by more than 370% between 2016 and 2020, according to the Manitoba government. In a statement, Sgt. Trevor Thompson of the financial crime unit of the Winnipeg police said:
“As cryptocurrencies have risen in popularity and become more widely available, criminal actors have now migrated into this space and are primarily using cryptocurrencies as the medium to obtain funds from their victims. In order to combat the rise in the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal enterprises, police must adapt.”
Thompson continued by stating that his office receives seven to eight reports of cybercrime every day, most of which are connected to swindling investment schemes that prey on the victim’s ignorance of how cryptocurrency works. The criminal gangs engaged are frequently found outside of Canada. He continued by saying that anonymity is a problem in crypto-related crimes.
The majority of frauds in Winnipeg and across Canada, according to Thompson, now involve the use of cryptocurrency in “classic” romance scams and online employment scams that cause “life-altering financial losses and mental suffering.”
The Manitoba Securities Commission has alerted the public to a number of illegal schemes and is actively involved in the battle against cybercrime linked to cryptocurrencies. Alerts vary, like one that stood out of a rural Manitoban investor who was defrauded of $5,500 last year in March.
Since its founding in 2009, the Manitoba Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund has given out more than $20 million in Canadian dollars.
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