Ongoing scammers tricking people into fake cryptocurrency schemes: officials

Officials are warning of some ongoing scams targeting people looking to invest in cryptocurrency.

Fake investment websites

According to Toronto police, people have been getting unsolicited messages over the Internet, advertising false investment schemes and promising high returns.

After providing personal information and setting up fake online accounts, the victims are told to buy actual cryptocurrency and then transfer the money over to the fake accounts.

The victims are given financial statements showing high returns and encouraged to invest further.

However, when the victims try to pull money out of their accounts, they are told to pay a fee to get in. This step can happen multiple times, and the victim is never able to access their money.

Anyone with information is asked to call Toronto police at 416-808-2222, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477 (TIPS).

Instagram blackmailing

Another scam is being highlighted by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They say scammers have been using phishing emails to gain control of people’s Instagram accounts.

This is then used to blackmail account-holders. Victims are told to film themselves promoting fake cryptocurrency platforms and post them over social media to lure in other victims.

The Instagram accounts are never recovered.

Officials say you should:

  • Avoid clicking links or downloading attachments from text messages and emails you don’t trust. They likely contain malware.
  • Use different passwords for each of your online accounts.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication, adding extra steps to the log-in process and slowing down hackers.
  • Avoid revealing personal information online.
  • Do your research before investing online.
  • See if the investment group is registered with the National Registration Search Tool or the Ontario Securities Commission.

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