In a jaw-dropping tale of deception and betrayal, a Canadian senior was lured off a staggering $7.5 million during a crypto scam that spanned months.
The original fraud began when the victim received a Mandarin-language text message in Spring 2022 from a scammer seeking information on her business history.
After establishing trust through frequent communication via phone, text, email, and chat apps, the fraudster convinced the victim to invest millions of dollars into a fake online cryptocurrency trading app.
When the victim realized she couldn’t withdraw money from the app, the scammer vanished, only for the victim to be contacted by someone else claiming they could help recover her money.
This “helper” threatened the victim until she sent even more money in what turned out to be the second part of this elaborate scam.
An ongoing investigation and a call for vigilance
The case is still under investigation, but police share the story to protect others from falling victim to similar scams.
Cpl. Philip Ho of the Burnaby RCMP’s economic crime unit emphasizes the importance of reporting these crimes and providing support to victims at higher risk of being re-victimized once a scam has defrauded them.
To protect yourself from similar scams, police advise being aware of common warning signs, such as:
- Suspects providing victims with excuses for withdrawing money from the bank
- An unusually high return on investments in a short amount of time
- No formal investment contract
Stark warning for the crypto world
This distressing incident exposes the sinister underbelly of the cryptocurrency world and serves as a dire warning to remain vigilant against potential scams.
By recognizing the red flags and reporting suspected fraud, we can help protect ourselves and others from the dark corners of the digital currency landscape. Stay alert and stay safe.