Bitcoin Scam
(photo via Unsplash)

The Saanich Police Financial Crimes Section is alerting the public of a cryptocurrency scam targeting Saanich residents. 

The recent increase in cryptocurrency fraud, specifically within a handful of files investigated since mid-July, have resulted in a total combined loss of $1.4 million for the victims. 

Investigators say most of the scams originate when a fake investor contacts the victims via online messaging platforms such as Whatsapp or WeChat. 

Victims are then instructed on how they can make money quickly by investing and eventually convince the victim to move their money into a cryptocurrency trading platform. 

The fake investor then tells the victim that their original investment has grown and, in turn, tells them to invest more.

The trend then continues, resulting in losses for the victim.

Once money has been moved into cryptocurrency, it can not be retrieved. 

Investigations into these kinds of crimes can prove difficult for police as they involve multiple levels of fraud and usually originate overseas. 

The Saanich Police Financial Crimes Section provided the following tips to keep you and your loved ones safe from 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.

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