According to some reports, cryptocurrency-related crimes have decreased in the past year. Fraud and other crimes represent only a small percentage of total transactions. That doesn't mean cryptocurrency thefts have ceased, though. Thieves continue to make off with hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of cryptocurrencies. In fact, a recent string of thefts in Canada underscore this fact. Thieves made off with nearly $150,000 in profits by defrauding Bitcoin ATMs, also known as BTMs. In September 2018, thieves perpetrated 112 fraudulent transactions. These transactions were carried out in cities across Canada. Double-spend attacks allowed the thieves to make off with their funds. As a transaction processed, they would cancel the withdrawal from a remote location away from the ATM. This allowed them to withdraw cash and keep the funds in their Bitcoin wallet at the same time. Unfortunately, a simple strategy like this worked dozens upon dozens of times. Now Canadian law enforcement agencies are seeking help from the public. They want the public to help identify four suspects in the thefts. As of now, nobody has come forward to identify the individuals. Police remain confident they'll catch these criminals before too long. The very nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies allow thieves to get away with their crimes without ever being identified. In this case, BTMs tend to have cameras and other security features to help identify users. Thieves stole over $1.7 billion in cryptocurrencies throughout 2018. Crypto exchange thefts accounted for over half of that figure. On the other hand, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and even flat out scams accounted for over $500 million in losses. Industry analysts and even investors won't express too much shock over these thefts. Most of those individuals have become accustomed to such incidents. For better or worse, cryptocurrencies come with inherent dangers. It remains to be seen whether Canadian authorities catch their suspects. Figuring out their actual identities may prove challenging after all. In the end, high-profile thefts of cryptocurrencies remain in the news from time to time. Such incidents may scare institutional and everyday investors away from cryptocurrencies. Perhaps new security measures need to be developed to combat these kinds of situations.
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