Fraudsters have been targeting victims through messages on social media, emails, dating sites and online advertisements, York Regional Police say
YORK REGIONAL POLICE
Investigators with the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit would like to remind citizens to be wary of online investment and romance scams after an increase in incidents being reported.
Fraudsters have been targeting victims through messages on social media, emails, dating sites and online advertisements. Victims are often introduced to an investment opportunity or asked to receive money on behalf of the fraudster. In some cases, the fraudsters are claiming to know crypto-currency traders/investors or to be one themselves and they promise large returns. They will go as far as setting up websites where victims can log in and see funds in their accounts.
In many instances, these fraudsters are using fake names and identities or impersonating existing legal companies to solicit victims and to appear legitimate. The fraudster will continually ask for more money and fees and eventually, victims can’t get any of their invested money back.
In romance-type scams, fraudsters will build trust with a victim, then ask them to receive money and forward that money to others. In most cases, this money has been obtained from other online fraud victims and is essentially being laundered.
If someone is asking you to send cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherum and other cryptocurrencies, be very cautious. These online investments and investors are not licensed or regulated in Ontario.
York Regional Police is reminding citizens to be cautious if you receive solicitations or notifications for any type of cryptocurrency trading or investing as this type of currency is designed to be anonymous and can rarely be tracked.
If a situation feels suspicious, trust your instincts never invest in something you do not fully understand or with people or businesses that you cannot confirm are legitimate. Do not receive money transfers or deposits from unknown persons. We encourage citizens to share fraud prevention tips with friends and family, especially seniors or newcomers to Canada, who are frequently the targeted victims of frauds and scams.
If you have been a victim of a fraud, and have lost money, report the incident promptly to the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit either online or by calling 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6627. To report frauds where no money has been lost, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.