Police warn of another fraud scheme in Valley. (File photo)

Cowichan police warn of cryptocurrency scam

More than $64,000 in losses so far

Local police are warning the public of yet another fraud scheme in the Cowichan Valley.

Over the past six weeks, the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment has received several reports of frauds relating to bitcoin and cryptocurrency, with scammers targeting and victimizing vulnerable people.

To date, there has been more than $64,000 in losses reported to the RCMP in the Valley through various types of bitcoin and cryptocurrency scams.

The family of one elderly scam victim wants the public to be warned of similar scams so that they, or their loved ones, won’t fall victim to the same thing.

The scam includes a company getting in touch with the victim for an investment opportunity.

The company asks their investors to provide notarized copies of their passport, a property value assessment, and all banking information. The company is pitched like a pyramid scheme with the opportunity to make more money if you can convince other people to join in on the investment.

In another instance, someone fell victim to a fraudulent company on a cryptocurrency market trading platform.

Over a period of four months, tens of thousands of dollars were transferred by wire to an illegitimate company based out of South Africa.

By the time the victim became aware that they were being scammed, it was too late.

Immediately after making their final “investment”, the cryptocurrency they had believed they were investing in plummeted and they lost their money.

RCMP Const. Amron Christensen said the best way to fight these crimes is through awareness.

He said victims, or families of victims, can contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre with any information they may have.

“The RCMP manages the CAFC, which is a repository for data, intelligence and resource material related to fraud,” Christensen said.

“It can be helpful in assisting citizens, business, and law enforcement in Canada and around the world.”

The site can be found here.

For more information on what to do if you are a victim of a scam, visit the Scams and Frauds page on the RCMP website.

There is also information on warning signs if you believe a family member has fallen victim to a scam.

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