22 reports of cryptocurrency frauds with loss of about $ 2.6 million in Richmond

IN 2022, Richmond RCMP have already received 22 reports of cryptocurrency frauds with a total amount of losses reported at approximately $ 2.6 million.

“We have one investigation where the victim was reportedly defrauded of $550,000. In this case the victim made a series of investments in what he believed were legitimate foreign exchange companies only to discover he’d been tricked,” said Cpl. Melissa Lui of the Richmond RCMP Economic Crime Unit. “These fraudsters know exactly what they are doing and once they have the money, it’s easy to move it so it cannot be traced or recovered.”

Richmond RCMP see three primary trends in reports in Richmond for cryptocurrency frauds. The reported frauds typically involve fake investment schemes, romance scams or individuals posing as representatives of a government agency.

These fraudsters can be extremely convincing and use a multitude of tactics to trick people. Whether through charm or threats, the fraudsters are highly focused on achieving their end goal: getting people’s money, police warn.

In March of 2020 Richmond RCMP launched a campaign where businesses could display a sign near bitcoin machines, gift card carrousels or tills in the hopes of warning potential victims against these scams. It is a voluntary program, which has been welcomed by a variety of businesses throughout Richmond.

“Unfortunately, these fraudsters keep finding new and unsuspecting victims,” says Lui. “We want to keep your money out of these fraudsters hands, which is why we will continue to remind and work hard to educate the public about cryptocurrency frauds.”

To help prevent yourself from failing victim to cryptocurrency frauds, Richmond RCMP recommend:

* Do your due diligence, research a company to confirm its legitimate before investing
* If someone claiming to be from a government agency asks for bitcoin, google play or iTunes gift cards as a method of payment, hang up immediately. No government agency would accept these methods as payment
* If you meet someone online via a dating app or other social media sites who always has an excuse to not meet in person but brings up an investment opportunity, do not invest or give them money
For more tips and ways to protect yourself from being scammed, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online.

If you have been a victim of these frauds or suspect someone may be trying to scam you, contact your local police.