Online investment scam defrauds local man of $500,000

THUNDER BAY – City police say a local victim was defrauded of more than half-a-million dollars in an online investment scam.

In a release issued on Wednesday, police say the victim followed the investment advice of a Facebook ‘friend’ who led them to investment platforms that were not registered and later found to be fraudulent.

It wasn’t the only case of investment fraud involving a local person.

Another victim was investing Bitcoin with a company registered in the United Kingdom, only to be told they had to pay $10,000 to transfer their investment into cash.

The company was not a registered trader.

“Online traders can be a convenient way to manage your finances, however, you should check to ensure the platform you are about to use is legitimate and registered. To learn more, visit the Canadian Securities Administrators online at: www.securities-administrators.ca/registration/are-they-registered,” reads the police release.

”Scammers are often based in countries outside of Canada and as a result can be very difficult to identify. Investigations into these kinds of frauds may require assistance from outside police services and are often very complex.”

Police say no reputable organization would demand a payment in Bitcoin, and suggest contacting them at 684-1200 if asked to do so, or asked to make a Bitcoin withdrawal at an ATM.

The full release is below:

NEWS RELEASE
THUNDER BAY POLICE SERVICE


Crypto investment scams victimizing locals

The Thunder Bay Police Service is issuing a warning about recent fraud cases involving online investment scams.

In one recent case, a local victim was defrauded of more than $500,000 CAD when they followed investment advice from a Facebook friend. The financial advice led the victim to utilize investment platforms that were not registered, and later found to be fraudulent.

In another recent case, the Thunder Bay Police Service was made aware of a local person who was investing in Bitcoin with a company claiming to be based in the United Kingdom. After investing since the spring, the victim requested a withdrawal of funds, at which point the company demanded a payment of $10,000 to transfer their investments into cash.

The company was not a registered trader.

Online traders can be a convenient way to manage your finances, however, you should check to ensure the platform you are about to use is legitimate and registered. To learn more, visit the Canadian Securities Administrators online at: www.securities-administrators.ca/registration/are-they-registered.

Scammers are often based in countries outside of Canada and as a result can be very difficult to identify. Investigations into these kinds of frauds may require assistance from outside police services and are often very complex.

Also, please be aware that no reputable organization or institution will demand payments in the form of crypto currency like Bitcoin. If you are asked to make a payment via a Bitcoin ATM, please call police at 684-1200 for advice.

For further information about various frauds and scams that may be circulating, please visit the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre online at: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.