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‘Do your research’: RCMP warn of fraud on Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast

Online fraud continues to make the rounds of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, with various police detachments now urging locals to be wary.

According to police, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Officials are asking people to do their research, noting scammers often “try to rush you into making decisions.”

The warnings come as Comox Valley RCMP investigates ‘several’ reports of crypto-currency fraud that’s actually resulted in the loss of over a million dollars.

In two reports, RCMP says the victims were called over the phone and persuaded to invest money in return for dividends.

The scammer was given access to the victims’ computers to create online trading accounts, meaning they could also obtain personal information.

But when the dividends eventually stopped, RCMP says the accounts were drained and the victims lost thousands of dollars.

“Once you’ve taken your money from the bank and transferred it elsewhere, you are responsible for where it goes and who is able to access it,” explains Cst. Monika Terragni.

The media relations officer is also highlighting another crypto-currency scam targeting Facebook users. So-called brokers encourage people to invest, but then all communication stops and the money becomes inaccessible.

“Take your time to know where your money is going and don’t get lured in by fancy websites, online advertisements, or unexpected phone calls,” Terragni says.

Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast RCMP is sharing similar stories in its latest incident report. Among two fraud reports mentioned, one involved a local who was convinced she could “get rich quick.”

The victim opened various accounts on various sites, before transferring a large sum of money to purchase Bitcoin, police say. However, her accounts are now frozen and she’s unable to access her funds.

If you’ve been scammed, notify police:

RCMP asks anyone who falls victim to fraud to call their local detachment. To remain anonymous, tipsters can reach out to Crime Stoppers.

To learn more about Cyber Safety, officials point to the RCMP Cyber Safety webpage. More details about current frauds and trends in Canada can be found here.

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