As reported by CBC , a Canadian woman was a victim of telephone fraud in February of this year. As a result, she bought $62,500 worth of bitcoin and sent it to the fraudster, who she believed was the Canada Revenue Agency.
To recoup her losses, the victim sued Bitcoin ATM company “Instacoin ATM Canada Inc.” for $62,500, hoping to get the money she deposited into the machine back. Yesterday, the court ruled that Instacoin is not to responsible for the victim’s loss, and she will not get her money back.
As per her testimony, the woman suing Instacoin was victim of a bitcoin scam earlier this year. The way the fraud worked is simple: the attacker called the victim claiming to work for the Canada Revenue Agency and demanded the money while claiming th payment was necessary as she allegedly owed taxes. The victim went to Instacoin’s Bitcoin ATM, purchased $62,500 in BTC, and sent it to the fraudsters.
Thinking it was for taxes, she was disappointed to find out the phone calls were not from the Canadian Government, but from a fraud. "It's really hard. I need that money back.” The victim, a recent immigrant, was afraid of deportation if she didn’t pay the alleged taxes. The fraudsters even called from multiple phone numbers, with multiple voices, and claimed to be an accounting firm.
In September of this year, the victim sued Instacoin, hoping to get her money back. The Charlottetown Provincial Court ruled that Instacoin did not commit any crime, and merely provided a financial service to their customer. Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr was quoted as saying:
Both sides involved in this case are completely sympathetic to the woman. It's up to the bitcoin purchaser to know what they're doing.
Considering the immutability of bitcoin transactions, the victim’s BTC is gone forever. Instacoin still has the $62,500 she deposited into the ATM, but the judge ruled the company not to blame. Judge Orr explains: "It's most unfortunate that she was victim of such a sophisticated fraud, but Instacoin did not put her under duress."