Five reports of romance/crypto currency scams in Richmond in 10 days

RICHMOND RCMP are warning the public about romance/crypto currency scams after receiving five reports in a 10-day period earlier this month.

Richmond RCMP said they wanted to educate residents to know what to look for to help prevent others from falling victim to it.

“These scams can be hugely traumatizing for the victims as they truly believe they are involved in a romantic relationship,” said Cpl. Adriana O’Malley, Media Relations Officer. “It shows just how far these fraudsters are willing to go to defraud people of their money.”

Fraudsters are adapting their techniques to the latest trends and technologies, using a variety of tactics to defraud victims. These include:

* People are approached via dating apps or other social media sites. After developing an online relationship, the fraudster brings up an investment opportunity and convinces the person to make an initial payment. The fraudster is often able to convince victims to continue investing, which can lead to substantial losses.
* The fraudsters identify a person’s friend, and then take control of the friend’s social media accounts. The suspect, posing as the friend, easily convinces the person to take advantage of the supposed investment opportunity.
* Fraudsters research their potential victims online, including reviewing their social media posts, in order to come up with a tailored strategy for each victim to maximize their chances of success.
* The fraudster, while calling with a pitch for crypto-asset investment, convinces a person to provide remote access to his or her computer. The suspect shows the person a fraudulent crypto investing website that promises substantial returns. In many cases, people will continue investing until it becomes clear that their funds cannot be withdrawn.
* Fraudsters may claim that they will use an investor’s money to buy digital currencies, and then cut off all communication after receiving the funds.

To date in 2021, Richmond RCMP have investigated 73 fraud files with a nexus to crypto currency.

Richmond RCMP encourage all victims of fraud to come forward and report these incidents to the police of jurisdiction.