Public Awareness: Investment Scam
“I saw an ad by Elon Musk, so it seemed real…”
Hamilton Police are warning the public of an investment scam involving cryptocurrency that is targeting Hamiltonians. While this fraud has been around for a while there has been a surge recently of victims, as awareness in the public of digital currencies and the possibilities grow.
Over the past few months, the Hamilton Police Fraud Unit has investigated a number of investment scams centered around cryptocurrency. Victims in these incidents have suffered significant financial losses.
In this scam, a seemingly authentic advertisement appears while you're on YouTube or other social media platforms. This ad falsely presents itself as a legitimate media announcement, claiming that Elon Musk has launched a block chain trading platform called Quantum AI or a similar variation. It promises that by investing just $250, you can earn $100,000 in a single month.
Upon clicking a link, the victim is directed to a counterfeit CBC or news website featuring fictitious articles. While reading the article, the victim is coerced into expressing their interest in receiving a call regarding investment opportunities.
Subsequently, the perpetrators contact the victim to establish remote access to the victim's computer, create a block chain wallet, and transfer the victim's funds into it. The bogus website then depicts the victim as earning money, while, in reality, the suspects have moved the funds to another country.
Soon the victims are out thousands of dollars, eventually coming to the realization they are the victim of a scam.
Several months later, the victim receives a call from an individual claiming to work for a recovery company, asserting that they have located the victim's lost bitcoin. The victim is coerced into making further payments, perpetuating the scam with the hope of eventually recouping their funds by covering supposed fees.
Avoid becoming a victim of these fraudulent schemes. We strongly advise the public to exercise vigilance and prudence when contemplating cryptocurrency investments and to verify the authenticity of investment opportunities. It is essential to consult with financial experts and conduct comprehensive research before making any financial decisions.
Here are some tips to help you avoid falling victim to an investment scam:
- Never allow anyone remote access to your computer: Often the suspects will ask you to install programs like Anydesk or Teamviewer that facilitate this.
- Research Thoroughly: Before investing, thoroughly research the investment opportunity and the company or individual offering it. Look for reviews, news articles, and any red flags associated with the investment.
- Verify Credentials: Check the credentials and licenses of the person or company offering the investment. Make sure they are registered with relevant regulatory authorities. Go to CSA | ACVM (aretheyregistered.ca) to check.
- Be Skeptical of High Returns: Be cautious of investments that promise unusually high returns with little or no risk. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Avoid Pressure Sales Tactics: Scammers often use high-pressure sales tactics to force you into making quick decisions. Take your time to evaluate the investment.
- Don't Share Personal Information: Be cautious about sharing personal or financial information, especially if you're contacted out of the blue.
- Watch for Red Flags: Be alert to common warning signs, such as unsolicited offers, unprofessional communication, and vague or secretive investment details.
- Use Secure and Reputable Platforms: If you're investing in cryptocurrency, use reputable cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets. Beware of fake or phishing websites.
- Don't Send Money to Unknown Parties: Never send money to an unknown person or entity without thoroughly verifying their legitimacy.
- Seek Professional Advice: Consult with a qualified financial advisor before making any significant investments.
- Trust Your Instincts: If something doesn't feel right or if you have doubts about an investment, trust your instincts and walk away.
- Report Suspected Scams: If you suspect you've encountered an investment scam, report it to your local authorities or regulatory agencies. You can also report it to organizations like the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.
Remember that being cautious and conducting due diligence can go a long way in protecting your financial well-being and avoiding investment scams.
If you have been a victim of a cryptocurrency investment scam and suffered a financial loss, please report the incident online at https://hamiltonpolice.on.ca/report-crime/online-reporting or call our non-emergency number at 905-546-4925.
If you were contacted about this type of scam but did not experience a financial loss, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
For more information about scams and frauds, including cryptocurrency investment scams, in a variety of languages, please visit: