South Simcoe Police are investigating after a woman received an unsolicited Instagram message from someone claiming to be a doctor working in Somalia.
They began a texting relationship and he eventually asked her for money so he could take a vacation to visit her.
The victim sent small bitcoin payments then said she received an email from the United Nations saying she would have to pay two per cent of the vacation fund for the man — $8,000. That’s when she became suspicious and called police.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reminds the public to be vigilant and cautious when responding to email or social media requests from unknown persons.
The Centre offers the following information regarding these crimes.
A scammer convinces you to enter a virtual, online relationship so the scammer can gain your trust and affection. This can occur through:
- Email messages
- Fake profiles on social media and dating sites
Eventually, the scammer may ask you:
- for money for travel, a medical emergency or family assistance – making it seem urgent or like an emergency
- to receive money for them – by doing so you might unknowingly be committing a crime
- to join a business venture with them
- to invest in cryptocurrency
Scammers will try to use any means necessary to convince you that their requests are legitimate.
The majority of fraud is not committed by amateurs and they will use technology to their advantage.