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With tax season among us, there are a lot of scams out there to lure unsuspecting victims into unknowingly handing over thousands of dollars to criminals. Bitcoin has become the easiest and newest way to scam individuals out of thousands of dollars. Here is what you need to know on how these scams work so you can protect yourself. Bitcoin has become one of the most popular and effective ways for thieves to con their victims and get away with it due to the fact that Bitcoin is a crypto-currency, which is impossible to trace because it operates through a complex series of blockchains on the internet. Once you complete a transaction through a Bitcoin ATM machine, your money is essentially gone unless you have access to the blockchain key. Your money is essentially gone because unlike wire transfers, Bitcoin transactions cannot be traced. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from Canada Revenue or the IRS and they insist that you owe thousands of dollars in "back taxes" and are pressuring you to pay the balance owing via Bitcoin, this is a clear indication that someone is attempting to scam you out of thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that because Bitcoin is not a regulated currency, the IRS in the United States and Canada Revenue will never accept Bitcoin as payment for "back taxes owed." EVER. If you find yourself in the midst of a Bitcoin scam, hang up and alert your local authorities. Intimidation is one of the key elements of what makes these scams so successful. Thieves will say things like, if you fail to pay the balance owing on your taxes, they will come to your house and arrest you, confiscate your passport etc. Bear in mind, that Canada Revenue or the IRS will never threaten to show up on your doorstep to demand payment. If you do owe money in unpaid taxes, Canada Revenue or the IRS will send a letter to you in the mail of an outline of what, if anything, is owed. They never make house calls. For them to do this would be a direct violation of your civil rights. If you owed thousands of dollars in unpaid credit card debt, it may go to a collection agency if you are not able to settle the outstanding debt. Collection agencies do not conduct house calls either. Again, this would be in direct violation of your civil rights. If you owe thousands of dollars in credit card debt, wouldn't you be suspicious if the person pretending to be from a collection agency, asked you to make a payment via Bitcoin? Bitcoin is not accepted as a legitimate form of currency because it is not regulated by any bank and therefore cannot be traced. See where I'm going with this? A credit card cannot payment cannot be made via Bitcoin because credit card companies are regulated by banks and can be traced by banks around the world. If you get a phone call from Canada Revenue or the IRS demanding that you pay via Bitcoin in "back taxes," try to jot the number down and alert your local authorities. This way, the authorities can make a possible trace as to where the call initially came from. The authorities can have a better chance of apprehending these criminals by catching them in the act and hopefully, bring them to justice. During tax season and all year round, always remain vigilant by never giving out thing like bank information, passwords among other personal information over the phone. If you do use credit cards to make purchases over the phone or online, be sure to check bank account and credit card statements on a regular basis. This way, if you do notice any suspicious activity, you can report it sooner than later. This will save you a lot of grief and money in the long run.
A Visual of What a Blockchain Looks Like
Bitcoin is a crypto-currency which is to impossible trace because it operates through a complex series of blockchains on the internet. Once a transaction is complete, you will not be able to recover any stolen funds from criminals presenting themselves as government officials.