On February 26, 2023, the Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police received a report of a fraud.
It was reported that since October 2022, the victim had sent over $300,000 to a person who a friend had met online. The suspect would present different reasons for needing money which the victim would then send via a Bitcoin machine. The victim also invested in the suspect’s business venture with the promise that their money would double. However, when the victim was unable to withdraw any funds from the alleged investment, they became suspicious and contacted police.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), in 2022, Ontario residents lost approximately $136,489,556 in investment related frauds and approximately $20,332,013 in romance related frauds. Further, it is estimated that only between 5 to 10 percent of frauds are actually reported to the CAFC or police. Scammers are using advanced methods to appear legitimate and trick people into trusting them. The CAFC is also seeing an increase in the number of cryptocurrency investment scams linked to romance scams.
Protect yourself and always avoid sending money or personal information to someone you have not met in person.
If you have been the victim of a scam, please know that you are not alone, and there are resources to help. You can contact your local police agency or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for assistance.
Visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for more information on how to protect yourself from being the victim of fraud.
The Wellington County Crime Unit is continuing to investigate and is asking that anyone with any information regarding this incident can contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip online at www.csgw.tips. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.