Crypto Investment Scams
Many fraudsters use impersonation tactics to pose as a trusted source to steal money or personal information. This is why Fraud Prevention Month will focus on impersonation scams.
Fraudsters are posing as friends, family and others to offer fake investment opportunities to steal money. The investment opportunities offer higher than normal or true monetary returns which often result in investors losing most or all of their money.
Investment scams were the highest reported scams based on dollar loss in 2021. Most of the investment scam reports involve Canadians investing in cryptocurrency after seeing a deceptive advertisement. It often involves victims downloading a trading platform and transferring cryptocurrency into their trading account. In most cases, victims are not able to withdraw their funds.
Note: Fraudsters impersonate trusted people to make their investment opportunities seem credible and to get more money from the victims.
- A romance scam turns into an "investment opportunity"
- Fraudsters compromise social media accounts and target the friends to pitch "investment opportunities"
- Phone calls soliciting "investment opportunities" and often asking for remote access to the victim's computer
- Fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO) investment opportunities
- Emails offering a crypto investment opportunity
- Social media advertisements for investment opportunities
How to protect yourself
- Always research the team behind the investment opportunity
- Analyze the feasibility of the project
- Verify the business's reputation
- Be careful when sending cryptocurrency – transactions often can't be reversed
- Verify if the investment companies are registered with your provincial securities agency or the National Registration Search Tool
- If you get a suspicious message from a friend, reach out to them through a different means of communication to confirm that it is them
- Do not send your crypto investments on legitimate exchanges to other crypto addresses
Learn more about investment scams.