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News Release

Sophisticated crypto scams targeting B.C. residents through social media and dating sites (ENGLISH AND CHINESE)

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Vancouver and Surrey – The B.C. RCMP, British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) and municipal police are warning the public about an emerging trend of fraudsters using social media and online dating sites to lure B.C. residents into crypto-asset scams.

In the first eight months of 2021, British Columbians reported losses of $3.5 million from crypto investment scams – more than triple the amount lost last year, which was just over $1 million, according to CAFC data. On average, only five per cent of fraud victims report such incidents to authorities. 

Fraudsters are adapting their techniques to the latest trends and technologies, using a variety of tactics to defraud victims:

  • People are approached via dating apps or other social media sites. After developing an online relationship, the fraudster brings up an “investment opportunity” and convinces the person to make an initial payment. The fraudster is often able to convince victims to continue investing, which can lead to substantial losses.
  • The fraudsters identify a person’s friend, and then take control of the friend’s social media accounts. The suspect, posing as the friend, easily convinces the person to take advantage of the supposed investment opportunity.
  • Fraudsters research their potential victims online, including reviewing their social media posts, in order to come up with tailored strategy for each victim to maximize their chances of success.
  • The fraudster, while calling with a pitch for crypto-asset investment, convinces a person to provide remote access to his or her computer. The suspect shows the person a fraudulent crypto investing website that promises substantial returns. In many cases, people will continue investing until it becomes clear that their funds cannot be withdrawn.
  • Fraudsters may claim that they will use an investor’s money to buy digital currencies, and then cut off all communication after receiving the funds.

The BC RCMP, BCSC, CAFC and municipal police are urging British Columbians to exercise caution when buying or selling crypto-assets due to various risks, including the loss of some or all of their investment. According to the CAFC, there has been a 5600 per cent increase in fraud to a total of $28.5 million involving cryptocurrency in Canada since 2015. This upward trend is expected to continue.

Investors can protect themselves by:

  1. Buying crypto-assets through a registered trading platform. Check the Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Registration Search to see if the entity is registered with securities regulators.
  2. Never sending money or investing based solely on the advice of someone they met through social media or a dating site.
  3. Being extremely cautious about unsolicited offers to invest through social media or dating sites.
  4. Being skeptical of “guaranteed” high returns with little or no risk: Generally, the higher the return, the higher the risk.
  5. Resisting the pressure to buy. Fraudsters can have you signed up before you even know it. If you ever feel you’re being rushed, remember, it’s OK to say no or ask for more time.
  6. Ignoring the fear of missing out. Fraudsters are skilled at making it sound like their offer is making others rich while you sit on the sidelines.
  7. Asking questions. Fraudsters work hard to override your instincts with complex documents and use overcomplicated, inconsistent, jargon-filled explanations. If you can’t understand it and can’t get your questions answered, walk away.

If you do fall victim to a fraud or know someone who has, individuals should contact their local police service and the CAFC by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or online by way of the Fraud Reporting System (FRS), even if a financial loss did not occur. If you have been the victim of an investment scam or know someone who has, also report it the BCSC.


Superintendent Brent Taylor, Officer in Charge of the Federal RCMP Financial Integrity Program in B.C.

“The recent growth in crypto-related and cyber enabled frauds has not gone unnoticed. Police enforcement cannot stop this activity without the assistance of the public. Better educating yourself using legitimate sources before investing is key. Doing your homework can go a long way toward protecting your money and investments.”

Doug Muir, the British Columbia Securities Commission’s Director of Enforcement

“Fraudsters use social media and dating apps to manipulate people looking to make meaningful connections, exploit their victims’ trust, and then defraud them of significant amounts of money. Be extremely wary if you are contacted out of the blue or promised high returns that sound too good to be true. Always research the investment and the person selling it before you invest.”

Deputy Chief Howard Chow, President of the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police

“Fraudsters prey on victims by taking any opportunity to exploit their vulnerabilities.  The public must recognize the importance in educating themselves on crypto and cyber related crimes, prior to investing or transferring currency.  The public arming themselves with current and accurate information may be the difference in identifying and preventing a fraud, before it’s too late.”

Sergeant Guy Paul Larocque, Officer in Charge of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Every year, thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud. Most don’t think it could happen to them, but fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated ways to target people of all ages, as can be seen with the crypto investment scams. It is important for victims to know that they are not alone and that by reporting the crime they are helping themselves and others.”

About the British Columbia Securities Commission

The British Columbia Securities Commission is the independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating capital markets in British Columbia through the administration of the Securities Act. Our mission is to protect and promote the public interest by fostering:

  • A securities market that is fair and warrants public confidence
  • A dynamic and competitive securities industry that provides investment opportunities and access to capital

About the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC) is Canada's central repository for information about fraud. The CAFC is jointly managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau Canada, and the Ontario Provincial Police.

Media Contacts:

Sgt. Kris Clark
Media Relations Officer
Federal Serious & Organized Crime (FSOC)

Elise Palmer
British Columbia Securities Commission

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

11 月3, 2021



溫哥華及素里 -  BC省皇家騎警,卑斯證監會(BCSC),加拿大反詐骗中心(CAFC)及市警提醒公眾騙徒利用社交媒體及徵友網站引誘BC省民墮進加密資產騙局的新趨勢。



  • 通過徵友應用程式及其他社交媒體網站接觸人士。在建立網上關係後,騙徒提出“投資機會”及説服該人士付出第一筆錢。騙徒通常能説服受害人繼續投資,而能導致不少的損失。
  • 騙徒確定某人的朋友,然後控制該朋友的社交媒體帳戶。疑犯假扮該朋友,輕易説服該人士接受所謂的投資機會。
  • 騙徒在網上搜羅可成目標的受害人,包括瀏覽他們在社交媒體的帖子,從而給每一受害人度身訂做計謀以大大提高得逞的機會。
  • 騙徒在致電推銷加密資產投資的時候説服該人士讓他遙控進入其電腦。疑犯給該人士瀏覽一個承諾可觀回報的虛假加密投資網站。很多時,受害人會繼續投資直至他們知道不能取回資金。
  • 騙徒可能聲稱會用投資者的錢買數字貨幣。在收到資金後,他們便斷絕所有聯系。

BC省皇家騎警,BCSC, CAFC及市警呼籲BC省民買賣加密資產時特別小心,因為所涉及的風險包括損失部份或全部的投資。根據CAFC,自從2015年起,在加拿大涉及加密貨幣的詐騙增加百份之5600達到二千八百五十萬元。預期這一升勢會持續。


  1. 通過註冊的交易平台買加密資產。用加拿大證券管理人的全國註冊檢索National Registration Search檢查該個體是否有向證監會註冊。
  2. 不要纯粹基於在社交媒體或徵友網站認識的人的建議而匯錢或投資。
  3. 對於在社交媒體或徵友網站上不請自來的投資機會應特别小心。
  4. 對於“保證”高回報,少或沒風險抱懷疑態度:一般來说,回報越高,風險越大。
  5. 抗拒購買壓力。騙徒能在你還未知情時令你投入。如果你覺得被催逼,記着,你可以說不或要求多些時間。
  6. 不要怕錯失機會。騙徒善於令你覺得當你在猶疑時,他們的投資機會正在使別人發達。
  7. 問問題。騙徒用複雜文件盡力蓋過你的本能及用過分繁複,不一致和充滿術語的解説。如果你不明白及得不到答案,不要參與。

如果你受詐騙或知道某人受詐騙,即使沒有金錢損失,應聯絡當地警方及致電1-888-495-8501聯絡CAFC或用網上詐騙舉報系統Fraud Reporting System (FRS)舉報。如果你是投資詐騙受害人或知道某人受騙,再加BCSC舉報


Brent Taylor, 負責BC聯邦皇家騎警金融操守部門的警司


Doug Muir, 卑斯證監會執法部總監


Howard Chow副處長,卑斯省警務處長協會會長


Guy Paul Laroque警長, 加拿大反詐騙中心主管




• 一個公平和值得公眾信賴的證券市場

• 一個能夠提供投資機會和融資的活躍和具競爭力的證券行業

關於 加拿大反詐騙中心

加拿大反詐騙中心(CAFC)是加拿大詐騙資料的中央存檔中心。 CAFC是由皇家騎警加拿大競爭局安大略省警聯合管理。


Kris Clark 警長

Elise Palmer