‘Spoofing email’ about Hamilton crypto scam targets police, media

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Published July 5, 2023 at 2:38 pm

DAVID McBEE/PEXELS
DAVID McBEE/PEXELS

A story about a crypto scam investigation that gained international attention was not true, Hamilton police said.

Hamilton police said it is investigating the source of a “spoofing email” that was sent to some media outlets on Tuesday, July 4. The spoofing email was not sent to inthehammer.com. 

The email reportedly contained a fake news release about two 17-year-olds in Canada who were arrested for fraud and accused of stealing $4.2 million in Bitcoin and Ethereum from an American man.

The story falsely detailed how the Hamilton police joined forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force to investigate the crypto scam, according to Hamilton police. 

CBC Hamilton and The Hamilton Spectator were among the places that published the false story. The news organizations have now written articles explaining how they were duped. 

“Hamilton Police can confirm this investigation did not occur and the email did not originate from the Hamilton Police Service,” the force said in a press release today (July 5). “Impersonating a police officer is a criminal offence. Hamilton Police recognize the public’s trust in the police is very important and incidents like this can cause the community to second guess police communication.”

Those with any information are asked to contact the Hamilton Police Technology Crime Unit by calling 905-546-4793.

To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your anonymous tips at www.crimestoppershamilton.com

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