In June 2023, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre issued a fraud alert regarding a romance/ investment scam, which is often referred to as “pig butchering”. In recent months the Saanich Police have experienced an increase in the amount of these scams resulting in, sometimes, large financial losses. The frauds appear to be mostly targeting Chinese community members.
These scams involve fraudsters contacting victims via dating apps or other social media sites. The fraudsters gain trust with the victim and, after they’ve gained trust, they claim to be a successful cryptocurrency investor.
The fraudster slowly convinces the victim to invest in cryptocurrency and refers them to a phony website or app that looks authentic but is controlled by the fraudster. The victim is encouraged to invest, and the fraudster will make sure to post a modest gain on the investment. The fraudster may even allow the victim to withdraw money a few times to convince them the process is legitimate.
The victim is then persuaded to invest larger amounts on the fake platform, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Once the money is sent to the fake investment app, the fraudster disappears with all the money, resulting in significant losses for the victim.
Explore the BC Securities Commission campaign that shows that not all crypto scams are obvious, but you can learn how to spot some red flags. CryptoScams.ca (investright.org)
How to report a fraud
To report a fraud, if you’re a Saanich resident, please contact the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321.
You can also contact the Canadian Anti-Fruad Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or by visiting their website to report online.
Sgt. Jereme Leslie
Interim Public Information & Communications Officer