MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- A Howick, Ont. man is out more than $50,000 after falling victim to a Bitcoin scam, Huron County OPP say.

According to police, a caller identifying himself as a private investigator told the man his Social Insurance Number had been compromised, but he that he could help.

He reportedly told the man he could secure his account against additional fraudulent transactions if funds were transferred to him.

Following the scammer's instructions, police say the victim sent multiple Bitcoin transactions totalling more than $50,000.

Provincial police are warning residents that there are a number of different scams circulating involving the digital currency or payments through gift cards.

Among the common scams are:

  • Extortion - scammer claims to have hacked your computer and asks for Bitcoin or the contents will be shared
  • Impersonation - scammer claims to work for a government agency, police or a bank then request money to "secure your account" or "monitor fraudulent" transactions
  • Bogus Investment - offer of investment and business opportunities that promise to make you big money
  • Free Giveaways - offers of free giveaways of bitcoin or other digital currencies in exchange for sending a small amount to register or by providing some personal information
  • Pump and Dump - enticing others invest claiming they know what the Bitcoin price is going to be in an attempt to artificially drive up the price so they can sell

Police recommend verifying any unsolicited contacts before doing anything. More information on frauds and scams is available through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.