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Lethbridge Police Sergeant helps identify victims during ‘Operation Disruption’

The Lethbridge Police Service was among several law enforcement agencies that joined forces as part of a proactive policing and disruption strategy to combat cryptocurrency-related crime.

During a private workshop, hosted by the Calgary Police Service and Chainalysis, officers identified more than 770 victims of cryptocurrency fraud with an estimated combined loss of $59 million.

The following news release was issued by the Calgary Police service outlining ‘Operation Disruption:’

As a continuation of Fraud Prevention Month, our Blockchain Investigations Team recently partnered with blockchain data company, Chainalysis, to host ‘Operation Disruption’, a private workshop dedicated to addressing cryptocurrency-related crime.

Through the findings of this workshop, more than 770 victims, 119 which were Canadians, were identified as victims of cryptocurrency fraud, with an estimated combined loss of $59 million.

This collaborative event brought together representatives from law enforcement agencies including the RCMP, the Lethbridge Police Service, the Delta Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and cryptocurrency exchanges NDAX and Binance. Together, participants discussed proactive policing and disruption strategies to combat fraudulent activities within the cryptocurrency landscape. This included focusing on a tactic known as ‘approval phishing’.

‘Approval phishing’ is a scheme increasingly used by romance and investment scammers and poses a significant threat to individuals engaging in cryptocurrency transactions.

Unlike conventional scams where victims directly transfer funds to perpetrators, ‘approval phishing’ involves coercing users into approving malicious blockchain transactions.

Scammers using this tactic will attempt to build trust with victims by offering convincing information on a range of investment opportunities that promise a large return. The scammer will often connect with victims online, through social media, apps or pop-up ads that require the victim to grant approval for a blockchain transaction. This approval then grants the scammer access to specific tokens within a victim’s digital wallet, which ends in unauthorized fund withdrawals.

At the conclusion of the workshop, swift actions were taken to notify the individuals who were identified as victims impacted by these types of scams. By leveraging support from the exchange companies, victims were contacted and warned of the scam, in hopes of preventing further victimization.

The joint initiative led by the Calgary Police Service and Chainalysis highlights a commitment to proactive policing strategies aimed at protecting Canadians from exploitation with cryptocurrency.

Citizens involved in blockchain transactions are reminded of the following tips:

  • Do not send money to unknown individuals you have interacted with online.
  • Visit the Alberta Securities Commission websitefor cryptocurrency investment tips.
  • Visit the Chainalysis websitefor more details on ‘approval phishing’ scams.
  • Report financial loss to police
  • If you have received a fraudulent text message, email or phone call but have not sustained a financial loss, please report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

About Chainalysis

Chainalysis is the blockchain data platform. We provide data, software, services, and research to government agencies, exchanges, financial institutions, and insurance and cybersecurity companies in over 70 countries. Our data powers investigation, compliance, and market intelligence software that have been used to solve some of the world’s most high-profile criminal cases and grow consumer access to cryptocurrency safely. Backed by Accel, Addition, Benchmark, Coatue, GIC, Paradigm, Ribbit, and other leading firms in venture capital, Chainalysis builds trust in blockchains to promote more financial freedom with less risk. For more information, visit


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