An elderly woman in British Columbia has been robbed of more than $7.5 million after falling for a scammer who maintained a fake friendship for months to gain her trust.
“These scammers have spared no effort for several months to defraud this elderly individual and convince him that these are legitimate investments,” Corporal Philip Ho, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Gendarmerie (RCMP) Economic Crimes Unit in Burnaby, said in a press release Thursday.
The scam, which is one of the largest investigated to date by the Burnaby RCMP in British Columbia, is said to have begun in the spring of 2022, when the elderly woman received a text message asking her for information about her personal and professional history. .
For months, the scammer had maintained a cordial relationship with the lady, speaking regularly via text, phone, email, and a chat app.
After a while, “after gaining the trust of the victim,” the fraudster allegedly persuaded him to invest millions of dollars in a cryptocurrency wallet through an online application.
To maintain the illusion and keep the victim informed about his fake investments, the scammer had sent him a fake application link that reproduces the appearance of legitimate cryptocurrency platforms.
By wanting to withdraw the money, the woman would have realized her grave mistake.
The problem is that the fraud would have continued when someone else contacted the victim to help them get their money back. Under pressure and threats, she would have invested other sums to no avail.
“It is important for victims to contact the police so that we can investigate and help them, because when someone is a victim of fraud, they are at greater risk of becoming a victim again,” said Philip Hu.
It reminds us that scammers are able to personalize their scam using personal or professional information to create a relationship of trust and better target their victims.
We are posting this story to prevent others from becoming victims of similar scams. Fraudsters often change their tactics.
Here are the warning signs of cryptocurrency fraud, according to the RCMP
– investments with exceptionally high returns for a short period of time;
– Suspects who send messages to victims at all hours of the day that they are interested in the victims’ personal lives;
– suspects who provide victims with excuses that they can give to the bank when withdrawing money;
There is no formal investment contract or information regarding the product the victim will buy.
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