Vancouver police are warning the public about what they call an “alarming” increase in the number of cryptocurrencies — or digital currencies — scams.
Police said Friday the surge has resulted in local victims losing close to $2 million cumulatively in one week alone.
Const. Tania Visintin with the VPD said investigators think this type of crime is being under-reported because the victims often feel shame or embarrassment, making them reluctant to come forward.
“Predators will often exploit two powerful human emotions – greed and love,” added Visintin. “Victims are typically lured in with the idea that they will be a part of an opportunity to make money or in other cases, they will be doing a friend or romantic interest a favour.”
Visintin said these frauds are very difficult to investigate and the chance of identifying a suspect is low because they are often based overseas and mask their identity through sophisticated, untraceable virtual private networks (VPNs).
Police want to remind everyone who may be suspicious about personal money transfers requested by someone they met online to call their local police department.