Southern Ontario resident loses $110,000 in cryptocurrency scam

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Provincial police in Middlesex County have issued a warning about cryptocurrency scams after one person was defrauded of more than $100,000.

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Police say the scam took place after a Thames Centre resident was first contacted on social media by an unknown person who, after establishing a friendship, convinced the victim to invest in cryptocurrencies, a form of digital money that is encrypted and uses blockchain technology — open and decentralized networks — to complete transactions over the internet.

Though the victim was first referred to a legitimate cryptocurrency site, the scammer then used a fake website to get the victim to invest about $110,000 over a three-month period, police said.

“Fraud is a multibillion dollar per year business and modern, tech-savvy, fraudsters will do their best to create confusion and chaos during interactions, leading victims to react impulsively and hand over their money,” the OPP said in a press release Thursday.

“It is imperative to verify any unsolicited requests before you respond or provide personal information. If you feel pressured, hang up the phone or delete the sender’s profile.”

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost $163.9 million to investment scams in 2021.

Victims of fraud can contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca or their local police department.

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