After stealing all of her Christmas money, a local grandmother warns others about a form of a cryptocurrency scam.
"I'd like to prevent this from happening to anyone else. It was heartbreaking," Chilliwack resident Carol Anderson said.
She felt foolish after discovering she'd been the victim of fraudulent financial transactions. "This appears to be a common occurrence," she added.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has revealed several types of cryptocurrency scams, including one in which scammers impersonate crypto company employees to gain access to financial information.
She was told she was unlikely to get her money back after filing a police report in early December. Anderson's bank denied her initial claim, but she believes she will be successful on appeal.
The local woman was still in mourning after the death of her husband in February 2022 when she produced the first transaction as an investment with the intention of getting some Christmas money to buy gifts for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"I decided to put some money into cryptocurrency," she said.
"They were showing me how to do it online," she explained. They showed her how to set up an account remotely and promised her a call to help her set up a digital wallet to withdraw from.
The trouble began when she attempted to withdraw her money. Then she got a call from someone in Montreal, but they later denied that anyone from that company had spoken to her on that particular day. "He was explaining something to me. However, I was unable to obtain it."
Instead of talking on the phone, the person asked if they could do a remote online. They appeared to have all of her information, so she assumed she was safe.
"Without thinking, I went to my bank account," she explained. She was told they would deposit her money, but this did not occur. "That's when he grabbed it."
Her account had been completely depleted of the $1,500 she had set aside for the holidays. Her modem had failed, and the person had vanished. According to the company, she made the investment herself.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, cryptocurrency scams and fraud typically involve an attempt to steal cash and personal and financial information from a target.
"Fraudsters will offer you cryptocurrency buy-ins with high returns in a short period of time. Instead, the victim will lose their investment and potentially sensitive personal and financial information.
"Purchase your cryptocurrency from well-known and trustworthy exchanges. Directly from the manufacturer, purchase any hardware wallets.”
B.C. In May 2022, the RCMP issued a warning after it appeared that Lower Mainland seniors were being specifically targeted for this type of fraud.
Since then, several people have generously assisted her. It wasn't a large sum of money, but it was all she had.
Following the fraud, a close friend rushed to buy her winter boots. Tracy Broskey did her hair styling and cutting. Someone else she didn't even know gave her a $100 Mark's gift card.
It greatly improved her mood. Anderson is now wondering how many others ended up in the same situation.
"If telling this story helps even one person, I won't have lost everything."
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