FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2021, file photo, the Bitcoin logo appears on the display screen of a cryptocurrency ATM at the Smoker's Choice store in Salem, N.H. China’s central bank on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, declared all transactions involving Bitcoin and other virtual currencies illegal, stepping up a campaign to block use of unofficial digital money. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

$1.4 million lost to cryptocurrency fraud in Saanich during last three months

Police warning residents about an increase in fraud reports

Police are warning residents about an increase in cryptocurrency fraud after the Saanich department saw a combined loss of $1.4 million since mid-July.

Some of the files being investigated by the Saanich Police Department’s financial crimes section originate when fake investors contact victims via online messaging platforms and convince victims to move money into a cryptocurrency trading platform.

Once the money is moved into cryptocurrency it cannot be recovered, warns the department in a statement, adding these files are difficult to investigate as these fraudsters are typically located overseas.

“The significance and sophistication of these types of scams are evolving and are larger than ever. Please protect your assets and sensitive personal information.”

Saanich police recommend residents do their own research before investing, check legitimate websites for information, visit the Securities Commission and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, and ask local banks, investors, or financial planners.

Police said many of these scams have targeted members of the Asian community in Saanich. For translated information visit the Anti-Deception Coordination Centre website.

Victims of these crimes, or other crimes, are encouraged to report information by calling the Saanich Police Department at 250-475-4321.

ALSO READ: Vancouver Islander accused of selling fake ownership in world-renowned Sooke Harbour House

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