The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has issued a bulletin related to the rise in crypto investment scams within Canada. Fraudsters are claiming to be law enforcement officials, government officials, as well as critical infrastructure companies. Below are some of the most important details that were discussed with a special focus on crypto investment scams.
2021 was the year with the highest reported instances of investment scams. Victims for 2021 reported a total loss of $163.9 million to the CAFC. In most of these investment scams or crypto scams, the victims were lured with deceptive advertisements. In some cases, the victims were prompted to download trading apps and sign-up on platforms wherein they were asked to transfer funds into cryptocurrency so that they can start trading crypto. After which, the money was not able to be withdrawn.
Crypto Investment Scam Variations
In a lot of cases, the victim was approached either on a social media website or on a dating site. The scam usually starts as a romance scam in which the fraudster gains the victim’s trust before luring them with an investment opportunity in which the victim often loses a high dollar amount.
A variation is wherein the scammer will access the victim’s social media accounts or the social media accounts of the victim’s friends. The scammer will then contact people to convince them to take advantage of an investment opportunity. The victims are convinced because they think that they are talking to someone that they know.
Another variation is wherein the fraudster convinces the victim to invest in cryptocurrency. Sometimes the scammer will pretend to help the victim by saying that they will create an account for them so that they can gain remote access to the victims’ computer or personal accounts. This may or may not involve fake websites that show exponential growth of an investment.
One version of the scam involves an email about a crypto investment opportunity. The victim often comes across an advertisement on social media which prompts them to call a number or provide their details. The fraudster will later call them back and convince them to invest in various scams.
In all of these situations, the victim invests their money and then will later realize that no funds can be withdrawn or accessed from their accounts.
Warning Signs of Crypto Currency Scams
Watch out for the following warning signs and avoid interaction when you see them:
- Investment opportunities that promise higher than normal returns
- Offers investment from an unsolicited e-mail or telephone call
- Advertisements which make you act on urgency so that you don’t miss out on a perceived opportunity
- Individuals that you met on a dating site or a social media site who asks you for your financial details or who asked for help about finances within a few days of talking
- A friend who suddenly starts talking to you about investment offers
- Advertisements on social media that seem too good to be true regarding investments
- Any requests for cryptocurrency transfers from people that he did not fully trust
Protect Yourself Against Cryptocurrency Scam
The best protection is information. Once you know what to look out for and something seems too good to be true, then it would be best to not make rushed decisions. Make sure to observe due diligence. If something seems off regarding investments or a business opportunity, do not hesitate to contact us at Haywood Hunt & Associates to avail of our private investigation services.