Investment scams were the highest reported scams based on dollar loss in 2021. Victims of investment scams reported a total loss of $163.9 Million to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. In most of these cases, the investment opportunities offer higher than normal, or true monetary, returns which often result in investors losing most, or all, of their money. The majority of the investment scam reports involve Canadians investing in crypto currency after seeing a deceptive advertisement. It typically involves victims downloading a trading platform and transferring crypto currency into their trading account. In most cases, victims are not able to withdraw their funds.

Common Types of Crypto Investment Scams

  • The victim is approached on a dating or social media website. In some cases, the scam
  • ·starts as a romance scam and quickly turns into an “investment opportunity”. Because
  • ·suspects have gained the victim’s trust; it can lead to a high dollar loss for the victim.
  • In some reports, suspects have compromised victim’s friend’s social media accounts. Because the victim believes they are communicating with a friend or a trusted person,
  • ·they are easily convinced to take advantage of the “investment opportunity”. 
  • The suspect calls a victim directly and convinces them to invest into crypto currency.  In
  • ·many cases, the suspect asks for remote access to the victim’s computer. The suspect
  • ·shows the victim a fraudulent crypto investing website and convinces the victim to
  • ·invest based on the potential exponential growth of the investment. In many cases, the
  • ·victim will invest over a long period of time and, in the end, will realize that the funds cannot be withdrawn. 
  • An email is received by the victim offering a crypto investment opportunity. 
  • The victim comes across an advertisement on social media. After the victim clicks on
  • ·the ad and provides their contact information, suspects contact the victim by telephone
  • ·and convince them to invest.

Warning Signs of a Scam

  • Investment opportunities with higher than normal returns.
  • Unsolicited telephone, email or social media investment offers.
  • Displays of urgency so you don’t miss out.
  • An individual met on a dating or social media website who quickly attempts to convince
  • ·you to invest into crypto currency.
  • A friend tells you about a crypto currency investment opportunity via social media or
  • ·email.
  • Telephone calls from crypto investment companies.
  • Fraudulent ads posted on the internet or social media.
  • Request to transfer your crypto investment to an alternate

If you believe you have been a victim of a cybercrime or a Fraud, you should report it to Police and to the CAFC through their online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. Even if you are not a victim (no financial loss), you should still report it to the CAFC! #FPM2022