Saanich Police have issued a public warning following an increase in scams affecting members of the Chinese community.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre issued an alert in June regarding these romance/investment scams, commonly known as ‘pig butchering.’
The scam has led to substantial financial losses.
These scams involve fraudsters initiating contact through dating apps or social media, establishing trust with victims, and posing as successful cryptocurrency investors.
Subsequently, they persuade victims to invest in cryptocurrency through a seemingly authentic yet fraudulent website or app under their control.
Initially, the fraudsters ensure small gains on the investments to win the victim’s confidence.
They even allow occasional withdrawals to maintain the illusion of legitimacy. However, the victims are gradually coerced into investing larger sums, often reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Once substantial amounts are transferred to the fake platform, the fraudsters vanish, leaving victims facing significant financial losses.
The BC Securities Commission’s campaign, highlighted by CryptoScams.ca (investright.org), emphasizes that not all crypto scams exhibit obvious warning signs. However, it provides guidance on identifying red flags associated with such fraudulent schemes.
Saanich residents encountering such scams are urged to report to the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321.
Additionally, victims or individuals with information can contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their website for online reporting via antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.