March 19, 2019

Criminal Double Spending Bitcoin ATM Users Wanted by Calgary Police Service

14 March 2019, 09:36 | Joann Bryant

Calgary police look to identify 4 suspects in $200k Canada-wide bitcoin fraud

Canadian Police Investigates Bitcoin ATM Frauds

Police call on residents to assist in finding four men suspected of stealing money from Bitcoin ATMs.

The transactions all targeted a Canadian bitcoin company that police are not identifying and resulted in a loss of 195-thousand dollars. Fifty-one of the transactions occurred in Calgary, with the others in Toronto (17), Montreal (27), Ottawa (1), Hamilton (1), Winnipeg (13) and Sherwood Park, Alta. (2).

Police say the suspects were committing "double-spend" attacks and would visit a bitcoin kiosk and successfully withdraw money before cancelling their transaction before the bitcoin company would process the withdrawal.

Police say the male suspects may have in-depth knowledge or interest in cryptocurrency, bitcoin and/or blockchain technology. This man was photographed in Calgary.

This man is suspected of making fraudulent transactions in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Hamilton.

The attacks were carried out at a point that the Bitcoin ATMs accepted zero-confirmation transactions.

Todd is among the Bitcoin developers who developed a tool that allows processing transactions lost in the process, however, a tweaked version of the same is believed to be used for these scam transactions.

Each of the four suspects is accused of attacks in specific cities. The second double-spends that transaction with a transaction with higher fees, paying only the change address.

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.

The Calgary Police Service's cybercrime team has been leading a national investigation into the fraudsters since October with assistance from agencies across the country, including the Toronto Police Service, Hamilton Police Service, Winnipeg Police Service and Halton Regional Police Service.

Individuals with any leads can submit their tips to Crime Stoppers.

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