A scammer who pretended to be calling from the fraud department of a credit card company recently duped a Coquitlam resident out of $10,000, according to information released by Coquitlam RCMP.
The victim was told to withdraw the money from their bank account to “prevent further unauthorized transactions,” according to Coquitlam RCMP.
Once the money was out, the victim was instructed to convert the cash into Bitcoin and transfer it into the fraudster’s account. This was all ostensibly intended to help the investigation.
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None of the victim’s money has been recovered, according to Coquitlam RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Alexa Hodgins
“We want to remind the public to remain vigilant when asked to convert money into cryptocurrency,” Hodgins stated in a press release. “Not all cryptocurrency scams are obvious, but people can take steps to spot the red flags before investing.”
New tech, old tricks
The fraud is a variation of the bank investigator scam, according to Hodgins.
Generally, the bank investigator scam involves a fraudster telling a potential victim there have been suspicious transactions on his bank account. After that, the victim is sometimes told to withdraw their money or hand over their bank card and PIN number to an “investigator,” according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Sometimes the fake investigator will say they work for the bank, a police agency or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. To seem legitimate, scammers will sometimes read out the first four numbers of a debit or credit card.
“Most debit and credit card numbers with specific financial institutions begin with the same 4 numbers,” stated a release from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If you get a suspicious call, never provide remote access to your computer or dial *72, which can forward incoming phone calls to the fraudster, according to the release.
Financial institutions don’t ask customers to transfer funds to an external account for security reasons, the release stated.
In 2022, Canadians were scammed out of $530 million, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. The most effective three frauds were investment scams, particularly cryptocurrency fraud, romance scams, and spear phishing – which tends to use spoof emails to convince employees to offer their usernames, passwords, or other sensitive information.
The B.C. Securities Commission posted a video warning against fake crypto exchange websites.
While the website might have convincing stock photos, charts and even online reviews, there are often signs of a scam, according to the commission.
Words like “crypto,” “forex” or “trade” are usually included in the name of the exchange to boost search results. Along with fake addresses and fake pone numbers, the sites also tends to promote investment options with guaranteed returns and no risks.