A Canadian court has ruled that a Bitcoin ATM company, whose machine was involved in a scam, is not responsible for the victim’s financial loss.
It’s no secret that cryptocurrencies have their skeptics. The number of Bitcoin scams doing the rounds isn’t helping either. However, it’s not the virtual currencies themselves that are to blame. That dubious honor belongs to the fraudsters who think of these schemes and trap unsuspecting victims.
Live Bitcoin News recently reported on an old scam with a crypto twist. In years gone by, the fraudster would phone the victim claiming that they are in arrears with their utility bill and that payment needs to be made immediately. The scammer would then request credit card details over the phone, which the victim would provide and which would, in turn, result in them being the victims of credit card fraud.
Crypto scam artists are doing the same but instead of card details, they are requesting that money is sent to a Bitcoin address. According to CBC News, one person in the town of Charlottetown in Canada was a victim of this type of fraud.
Another Day, Another Scam
The unnamed woman, who is an immigrant in Canada, received a phone call supposedly from the Canada Revenue Agency requesting that she pay a large sum of money, in Bitcoin, of course, to prevent her arrest and deportation. The woman then received another call from an accounting firm advising her to pay. She deposited $62,500 into a Bitcoin ATM only to find out that she had been scammed.
The case then went to court in a bid to determine who is the legal owner of the actual cash, the victim or the owner of Instacoin ATM Canada Inc., where the funds were deposited. The victim’s lawyer believes that his client was acting “under duress” when she made the payment and therefore had not consented to it.
The lawyer of the ATM’s owner stated that his client was simply providing a service and should not be held liable because the victim sent her money to a fraudster’s Bitcoin address.
ATM Owner Not Responsible
The judge, Nancy Orr sided with the ATM owner stating:
Both sides involved in this case are completely sympathetic to the woman. It’s up to the Bitcoin purchaser to know what they’re doing.
As to the claim of duress, Judge Orr added:
It’s most unfortunate that she was [the] victim of such a sophisticated fraud. But Instacoin did not put her under duress.
In response to the judgment, the victim said:
It’s really hard. I need that money back. I want other people to know what happened to me, so it doesn’t happen to them.
While this is, of course, a terrible case, due diligence needs to be applied when dealing with making payments, especially in large amounts. This goes for both crypto payments and those made in fiat currency. While crypto gains traction and acceptance, parasitic fraudsters will creep out of the woodwork to make a quick buck. People need to be vigilant to ensure that they aren’t lining some scammer’s pockets with their hard-earned money.
Do you think that the judge’s verdict was fair? Let us know in the comments below!
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