Crypto whales targeted in wave of home invasions near Vancouver

Canadian police have warned of a pattern of home invasions near Vancouver targeting wealthy crypto investors, wherein thieves gain access by posing as delivery workers or authoritative figures to steal crypto holdings.

Police in Richmond and Delta, two municipalities of metro Vancouver, issued the public warning on Tuesday following a string of home invasions and crypto robberies over the past year that follow a “discernable pattern of operating, or modus operandi (MO).”

“The suspects appear to know the victims are heavily invested in cryptocurrency, know where they live, and are robbing them in their own homes,” said Jill Long, Staff Sergeant of Delta Police Investigative Services. 

“In each of the cases, the suspects gain access to a victim’s home by posing as delivery people or persons of authority. Once let inside the home, the suspects rob the victims of information that gives access to their cryptocurrency accounts,” according to the Delta Police press release.

One arrest has been made with charges being considered. However, authorities are keeping information close to the chest for now, choosing not to disclose details or the amounts of crypto involved, only revealing robbers have stolen large amounts of crypto.

Over the past year, 225 cases of residential breaking and entering (B&E) were recorded in Richmond. According to 2023 data from Vancouver police, residential B&Es continue to decline YoY, but at decreasing rates. Meanwhile, cases of theft have increased dramatically from 2021 to 2022, up 19.5%.

The locations of the 225 residential B&Es that have occurred in the past year in Richmond, BC (via Richmond RCMP).

Read more: UAE-based scammer gets 8 years in US prison after forfeiting 151 bitcoin

Richmond and Delta police shared a set of guidelines to help protect yourself from a home invasion — which may come in handy even if you’re not a crypto whale:

  • If a delivery person, or a person claiming to be of authority, attends your home unexpectedly, don’t let them inside. Ask them to leave the package outside, or make a call to their company or agency to confirm their identity. If the person refuses to leave when asked to do so, call the police.
  • Keep your valuables and financial information in a safe location, like a safety deposit box at a financial institution.
  • Only discuss financial matters with those you trust, and never discuss them in public places where you can be over-heard, or post them on social media.
  • Be cautious and do your homework when you invest. Only deal with reputable brokers.

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