Victims received dividends for a while, but their accounts were also emptied.

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Just weeks after Saanich Police reported that cryptocurrency frauds cost local victims $ 1.4 million, Comox Valley RCMP said they were investigating similar frauds with reported losses of over $ 1 million.

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Cryptocurrency is a term for digital currencies such as bitcoin.

In two Comox Valley cases, victims received a phone call and were given the opportunity to invest money in return for dividends. The victims gave the crooks access to their personal computers to create trading accounts on a particular platform, but the crooks also used this access to collect personal information.

Victims received dividends for a while, but their accounts were also emptied.

Other victims wishing to invest in cryptocurrency clicked on Facebook ads from cryptocurrency brokers, then transferred money to brokers and saw reports online suggesting that their investments were doing well. The brokers then encouraged the victims to invest more money, before cutting off the communication.

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The victims were unable to access their money after that.

“Once you’ve taken your money from the bank and transferred it somewhere else, you are responsible for where it goes and who can access it,” Const said. Monika Terragni, who urged people to take the time to find out where their money is going. “Don’t be lured in by fancy websites, online advertisements, or unexpected phone calls. “

Saanich Police said such cases can be difficult to investigate, as they tend to include multiple levels of fraud and frequently involve overseas-based crooks. In addition, the methods of the crooks continue to evolve.

The Comox Valley RCMP have offered these tips to protect you against this type of fraud:

• Beware of online and social media advertisements, and be wary if you are contacted unexpectedly about an investment.

• Do your research and note that scammers will often try to rush you into a decision. Make sure you are using legitimate services.

• Never give anyone remote access to your computer to create accounts.

• Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

• More information is available on the RCMP Cyber ​​Security webpage at rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/cyber-safety.