An elderly woman in British Columbia was robbed of more than $7.5 million after falling into the trap of a conman who faked a friendship for months to gain her trust.
“These fraudsters have made no effort for months to deceive this elderly man and convince him that these are legitimate investments,” said Corporal Philip Ho of the Gendarmerie Detachment’s Financial Crimes Unit. Burnaby-based Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a press release Thursday.
One of the largest scams ever investigated by Burnaby RCMP in British Columbia is said to have started in the spring of 2022 when an elderly woman received a text message asking for information about her personal and professional history. .
For several months, the cheater maintained a friendly relationship with the woman, chatting regularly via text message, telephone, email and chat application.
Shortly after, after “gaining the victim’s trust”, the scammer allegedly convinced him to invest millions of dollars in a cryptocurrency wallet through an online application.
To maintain the illusion and keep the victim up-to-date on his fake investments, the fraudster sends him a link to a fake application that reproduces the appearance of legitimate cryptocurrency platforms.
By wanting to withdraw the money the lady realizes her grave mistake.
The problem is that the fraud continues when the second person contacts the victim for help in getting his money back. Due to pressure and intimidation, she did not pay other amounts in vain.
“It is important that victims contact the police so that we can investigate and help them, because when someone is scammed they are at a higher risk of being victimized again,” said Philip Ho.
He reminds us that fraudsters can personalize their fraud using personal or professional information to build a trusting relationship and better target their victims.
“We are spreading this story to prevent others from falling prey to similar scams. Fraudsters often change their tactics,” he added.
Here are the warning signs of a cryptocurrency scam, according to the RCMP
– Investments with exceptionally high returns for a short period of time;
– Suspects who message victims at all hours of the day with an interest in their personal lives;
– Suspects who make excuses to be present at the bank when victims withdraw money;
– There is no official investment agreement or information about the product the victim buys.