WINNIPEG — New provincial funding will assist Winnipeg police in tackling the rise in cybercrime.
The government is providing $100,000 from the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund to train five additional members of the WPS cybercrimes team to participate in the Cryptocurrency Tracing Certified Examiner training program.
The funding will also be used to purchase specialized software, such as CipherTrace and Blockchain Forensics, to trace illegal financial cyberspace activities and to locate offenders.
“In order to combat the rise in the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal enterprises, police must adapt,” said Sgt. Trevor Thompson, financial crime unit, WPS.
“Specialized tools and training are required to provide the knowledge and ability to conduct thorough investigations into crimes involving the use of cryptocurrencies. These tools combined with the specialized training will assist police in identifying and prosecuting offenders and in the tracking and possible recovery of digital assets, which can then be returned to victims.”
The new funding comes on the heels of a recent rise of the grandparent scam, which swindled approximately $100,000 from elderly Manitobans in a single week.
Police believe these frauds are committed by organized groups, adding cybercrimes — including ransomware and phishing attacks, data breaches and cryptocurrency thefts, and cyber-enabled crimes, such as identity fraud or the trafficking of drugs or weapons on the dark web — pose an ongoing, ever-increasing threat to individuals and businesses and present major investigational challenges for police agencies.
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