THUNDER BAY - Ontario Provincial Police warn community members to beware of cryptocurrency scams, as all types of cybercrime/cyber enabled crimes are on the rise across North West Region. There was a 36 per cent increase of cybercrimes between the year 2020 and 2021 year-over-date.
Cybercrimes/cyber enabled crimes are defined as all online frauds and crimes against persons/businesses, cyberbullying/harassment, identity theft and data breaches. The number of incidents for the past two years were:
• 2020 - 95 occurrences
• 2021 - 129 occurrences
This year, there have already been 55 occurrences reported to police. In terms of cybercrime, there are many ongoing investigations in which individuals have reportedly lost over $50,000. When it comes to all type of fraud, it is important to remember that actual figures of total occurrences or amounts lost are likely much higher, as only 5 per cent of frauds are ever reported.
Cryptocurrency scams typically begin with the promise of high rates of return. Members of the public are reminded that there is an inherent risk in any investment. This is especially true for cryptocurrencies, which are not monitored and protected in the way that some other investments from major banks and reputable financial institutions may be. This offers no protection for individuals who invest their money in cryptocurrencies.
"The phrase, 'If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is,' is particularly true when it comes to cryptocurrency." says Detective Staff Sergeant Ryan Gordon. "It is important to share information with your family and friends and to contact OPP if you have been the victim of any type of crime."
To learn about ways to protect yourself from scams and frauds, the OPP encourages community members to stay educated on fraud prevention. Information on cryptocurrency can be found here: Using cryptocurrency safely (antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca)
If you are the recipient of a fraudulent call, text or email, or if you've been a victim of a fraud, you are encouraged to report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or visit http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
FRAUD - RECOGNIZE IT....REPORT IT….STOP IT….