West Shore RCMP are looking for tips in a Bitcoin fraud that saw the suspect pose as a police officer and drive the victim to the bank.
Police say the elaborate scam started on July 2 when the victim received a phone call from what appeared to be the West Shore RCMP non-emergency line.
The RCMP say this is a common technique where fraudsters use phone phishing technology to change the numbers on a victim’s call display.
The suspect posed as a police officer on the phone and told the victim he was facing criminal charges involving his social insurance card.
They then said the victim would have to deposit money into a Bitcoin account to avoid trouble.
At approximately 2:40 p.m. the same day the suspect picked the victim up from his home and drove him to the Royal Bank in Westshore Town Centre.
Once there, the suspect directed the victim to take out money from the bank while the suspect remained in the vehicle.
The victim was then ordered to take a taxi to a Bitcoin deposit location on Fort Street in Victoria, and was defrauded of $10,000.
Police say the suspect was not dressed in police uniform and did not have police identification, and was not driving a police vehicle.
He is described as a caucasian man in his 40’s, 5’5 with a slim build and short brown hair, wearing a light coloured sweater and khaki pants.
The suspect drove a red Toyota Corolla believed to be a newer model.
The fraudster introduced himself to the victim using the pseudonym “Rayen Rosen.”
West Shore RCMP say that phishing and Bitcoin frauds are common, but generally take place over the phone.
In most cases fraudsters pressure victims into depositing funds electronically.
In January, West Shore RCMP warned the public about a scammer posing an officer over the phone.
Police say that video surveillance was unable to capture the suspect or the vehicle, and are seeking help from the public in identifying him.
They are seeking possible dashcam footage or tips from anyone who was in the area near the Royal Bank at West Shore Town Centre between 2:40 and 3:15 p.m. on July 2.
Anyone with information is asked to contact West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264.
For more information on how to keep yourself safe, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.