A couple from Toronto became the latest to fall victim of a cryptocurrency scammer. They lost around $300,000 in an elaborate scheme.
However, in this case, law enforcement agents managed to recover a “significant portion” of the lost funds and returned them to the victims.
Another Crypto Scam in Canada
The Toronto Police Service announced earlier this week that an elderly man and his spouse, whose names were undisclosed, became victims of a cryptocurrency fraud.
The couple was willing to invest their savings somewhere when they were approached by an unfamiliar person online who presented himself as “professional and knowledgeable” in the investment field. After gaining the family’s trust, he advised them to distribute their funds on a fraudulent crypto platform. The wrongdoer then urged the victims to send some capital via a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange to a designated wallet.
The duo saw nothing wrong at first as the value of their investment was growing “significantly” on the application provided by the scammer. At some point, they even transferred money directly to the person in question.
The victims started sensing trouble when they asked to withdraw some holdings. The fraudster insisted they pay hefty fees or invest more to complete such transactions. In the aftermath, they parted with nearly $300,000.
The Toronto Police Service carried out an investigation and managed to recover a “significant portion of lost funds.” The identity of the scammer, though, remains unclear, and law enforcement agents assumed they could be located abroad.
Stephen Carr – a resident of Meaford, Ontario – is another Canadian who became a victim of a similar scheme lately. He parted with his entire life savings of approximately $500,000 after being conned into a crypto fraud on YouTube.
Unlike the aforementioned couple, the police could not return his funds, forcing Carr to put his house for sale so he could reorganize his life.
How to Avoid Crypto Scams
Several investigators and professionals gave the public the necessary guidance after the scheme was revealed. Detective Sean Vandecamp said such methods are quite popular, urging people to be utterly cautious when joining investments online.
“It is not likely that the funds are recovered via cryptocurrency, that’s why this is such a great success story,” he added.
Andreas Park – a professor of finance at the University of Toronto – also gave his two cents, arguing that crypto users are particularly vulnerable:
“With this great freedom that you have comes the responsibility — and the problem — that if you send it to the wrong person, it’s just gone.”
Vanessa Iafolla – a fraud prevention consultant and instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University – warned individuals unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies to avoid any offerings involving the asset class.