One of the newer forms of scams and fraud involves cryptocurrency.
Provincial Const. Phil Young, Community Safety and Media Officer with the OPP, explains the crypto investment scam involves someone being tricked into putting money into cryptocurrency.
He says the scam comes in a few forms.
One could see the victim approached on a dating or social media website. Young explains after gaining the person’s trust, the would-be fraudster drops the investment scam on them in hopes that they bite. Similarly, fraudsters may hack a close friend’s social media account and reach out to you to take advantage of the fact that the hacked friend is already someone you trust.
Young says scammers may also call, email, or use online advertising to trick people into investing.
Above all else, Young says to be careful when dealing with cryptocurrency, especially if you’re sending it to someone. He suggests, before buying or selling crypto, to do your research and make sure the service is reputable. A good way to do that, he continues, is by searching for their name on the national registration search tool.
In most cases, Young explains the trading platforms used by scammers are controlled by fraudsters and not legitimate.
Like with any fraud, Young says to verify who you’re talking to – even if it’s a trusted friend or family member – before doing any kind of transaction. He adds to be weary of anyone you just met bringing up the topic.
If you have been the victim of fraud, Young says to call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.