(TOWNSHIP OF CENTRE WELLINGTON, ON) – On April 19, 2022, Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a fraud complaint from a Centre Wellington resident. It was reported that an unknown suspect provoked the victim to purchase and transfer over $50,000 in Bitcoin and gift cards.
The victim was lead to believe that someone had attempted to access their credit card and bank account. The victim was then asked to assist the bank in tracking down the made-up criminal. Over a series of days, the victim saw funds placed into their account and was then directed to purchase gift cards and Bitcoins with those new funds. The victim was then instructed to share the information from the Bitcoin and gift card purchases to the scammer. The victim believed there was no risk as those new funds appeared in their account, however, investigation revealed that those funds were actually being transferred from one of the victims other accounts. In conclusion, the victim had lost over $50,000 to the unknown fraudster.
This type of scam starts off by causing stress, fear and panic in the potential victim making them desperate for solutions. Police would like to remind the public the banks don’t turn customers into “agents” for their investigations. Always ensure that you are dealing with the authorities, call your local bank using a previously validated phone number and confirm that what you’ve been told is true. You are liable and put yourself in financial risk when you disclose banking information. Start looking out for yourself, stop trusting people you are unfamiliar with and keep your guard up when it comes to unsolicited contact over the phone or electronic communications.