The Peel police fraud bureau has arrested and charged a 26-year-old Toronto man for an alleged online romance scam which defrauded a 73-year-old female victim of over $250,000 via cryptocurrency.
Police said that last September, the suspect met the victim through an online dating website and began communicating daily via text and phone calls. The suspect claimed he owned an ‘Oil Rig’ in the Middle East and urgently needed money. The suspect promised to repay the victim and that they would eventually meet in person.
The victim only communicated with the suspect electronically and had never met the suspect in person. After seeing a media report about “Romance Scams,” the victim realized that she had been duped.
On Wednesday, November 8, investigators searched the suspect’s Toronto residence and seized high-value jewelry, a luxury automobile, and proceeds related to the offences. Chimezie Nwabueze, a 26-year-old male, is facing several criminal charges including identity fraud and possession of property obtained by crime.
Nwabueze was released on an Undertaking and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton on December 11.
Police believe that there may be more victims.
Anyone with information pertaining to this matter is asked to contact the Fraud Bureau at (905) 453-3311, ext. 3335. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by visiting peelcrimestoppers.ca.