South Simcoe Police is warning people not to fall into a trap like a Bradford man who invested with an online cryptocurrency trading company. Once he created the account, the company promised “bonus” funds if he deposited more cash.
Police say when he checked his account the next day, it was empty. The company claimed to help him recover his funds through successful investments but he wasn’t allowed to withdraw the supposed earnings until he made over $100,000 worth of trades. The scammers suggested he hand over more cash in order to recoup his losses. The victim refused.
Investigators say scammers target victims who are hoping for fast returns on investments. When the victim tries to withdraw their money they are unable to do so. Suspects then end all communication with the victim.
Here are some tips to prevent becoming a victim of fraud:
- If a website promises abnormally high returns, this is a red flag and a common indicator of a scam.
- Do some research. Check for negative reviews about the company.
- Beware of offers of free money, either promised in cash or cryptocurrency.
- Resist the pressure to act quickly and watch out for urgent pleas that play on your emotions. Fraudsters will attempt to cause fear in efforts to make a financial gain and may direct you to not communicate with family or friends during the transaction.
- Do not provide personal information (e.g. SIN, passport number, credit card numbers, or banking information) over the phone unless you made the call and know who you are speaking to.