Is someone asking you to convert your money into cryptocurrency "to prevent" suspicious credit card transactions?
Be careful, you're likely talking to a fraudster.
Coquitlam RCMP is asking the public to be aware of red flags when it comes to potential financial scams, especially if the caller is talking about cryptocurrency.
According to a police release today (April 25), a Tri-Cities resident recently lost thousands of dollars in a similar situation.
Spokesperson Cpl. Alexa Hodgins explained the victim received a phone call from someone claiming to be with the fraud department of their credit card company and said there were suspicious transactions.
They were told to withdraw money from their bank account to prevent any further unauthorized purchases, convert it into cryptocurrency and transfer it to the fraudster's account "as part of the investigation."
However, it wasn't until after the transfer was complete — and the bank was called — that the victim realized they had been scammed.
They filed a police report shortly after.
"We want to remind the public to remain vigilant when asked to convert money into cryptocurrency," said Hodgins.
"Not all cryptocurrency scams are obvious, but people can take steps to spot the red flags before investing."
This is the second fraud warning of its kind from Coquitlam RCMP in less than four months.
In early January, Mounties said three fraud reports, involving a thousands of dollars, were called in over the holidays.
The victims were told their bank accounts had been compromised and were instructed by the scammer to take out what was left of their money to prevent future fraud and deposit it into a cryptocurrency ATM machine. They were told it would be used as "bait money" to catch those who had compromised their bank accounts.
"They were defrauded in each case," said Hodgins.
RCMP has listed the following steps for residents to protect themselves from possible investment scams.
- Get a second opinion from someone you trust
- ie. friend, lawyer or accountant
- Know that time-limited or high-pressure offers are signs of a scam
- Do your own research
- Visit the following websites for more information
Anyone with information about a potential scam, or if you believe you have fallen victim to fraud, you're encouraged to call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550, anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or go online to www.solvecrime.ca.
- with a file from Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News