A Wellington County resident has lost around $500,000 in a cryptocurrency scam, according to Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
On Thursday, OPP said the resident is from the Township of Wellington North.
Over a period of six months, the victim invested approximately $500,000 with a fraudulent online cryptocurrency investment firm, OPP said.
Wellington County OPP are encouraging residents to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) to learn about fraud prevention.
According to the CAFC, the usage of cryptocurrency in fraud increased by 238 per cent from 2020 to 2021.
The CAFC said in 2020 an estimated $23,009,414 was lost through cryptocurrency scams. That number increased to $77,872,155 in 2021.
SInce 2017, the CAFC estimates $122,698,484 has been lost in cryptocurrency scams.
“Further, the expansion of cash-to-cryptocurrency Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Canada has streamlined certain forms of fraud. Canada currently has the second most Bitcoin ATMs in the world, with nearly 2,500 ATM locations,” the CAFC said. “In certain cases, fraudsters convince victims to convert fiat currency into cryptocurrency using ATMs, and then deposit the funds into the fraudster’s wallet via the ATM.”
“Globally, Canadians rank near the top in terms of length of time spent online and are putting more personal information online than ever before,” the CAFC 2021 annual report says. “While this trend can be partially attributed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the digital environment is expected to continue growing.”