Date: October 20, 2021
Investigators with the Saanich Police Financial Crimes Section are warning about an increase in cryptocurrency frauds being reported in Saanich, resulting in the loss of over a million dollars. A handful of files investigated since mid-July have seen a total combined loss for these victims reach $1.4 million.
Some of the files being investigated originate with a fake investor contacting their victims via online messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or WeChat. Instructions are provided on how they can quickly make money investing, and eventually convince the victim to move money into a cryptocurrency trading platform. When the fraudster shows them that the money has quickly grown, they ask for more money, and the trend continues.
It is important for people to understand that once they move money into cryptocurrency, it cannot be retrieved. These files can be difficult for police to investigate as they often involve multiple layers of fraud and tracking the origins of the fraudster usually points to overseas.
How can you protect yourself, friends and loved ones from these scams?
Do your own research before investing any money, anywhere:
– Check out legitimate websites for information/warnings, including the BC Securities Commission and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
– Web search the investment platform and read reviews to the platforms/website (fake ones can be very convincing).
– Ask your local bank, investor, financial planner about it
– Ask trusted friends and family
Be suspicious of anyone giving you financial advice who you don’t know personally, face to face
Check the credentials of any financial investor you take advice from BEFORE investing your money.
Take your time and do your due diligence before giving anyone money.
“The significance and sophistication of these types of scams are evolving and are larger than ever. Please protect your assets and sensitive personal information.”
Many of these scams have targeted members of our Asian community is Saanich. For current information that is also translated, we encourage visiting the Anti-Deception Coordination Centre website.
Victims are encouraged to contact the Saanich Police Department to file a report. Additional resources can be found at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, BC Securities Commission, Equifax Canada and Transunion.
Anyone with information is asked to call our non-emergency line at 250-475-4321. Alternatively, they can report information anonymously to the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Anti-Deception Coordination Centre: https://www.adcc.gov.hk/en-hk/home.html
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm
BC Securities Commission: https://www.bcsc.bc.ca/