Legion hosting Fraud Awarensss seminar | DrumhellerMail
Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

Legion hosting Fraud Awarensss seminar

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From reports of loved ones in trouble to get rich investment schemes, there is an unending parade of ways scammers are attempting to separate people from their hard-earned wages.
The Drumheller Legion is hosting an anti-fraud awareness session and has invited the Drumheller RCMP as well as representatives from local financial institutions.
The session is on Thursday, June 20, at 2 p.m. at the Legion and the community is invited to attend.
RCMP Staff Sergeant Robert Harms tells the Mail that frauds are endemic.
“It is a continuous problem, and we deal with it regularly, and people get victimized by it regularly. Unfortunately, solve rates are quite low on them because it is done over the phone or computers. It is difficult to identify involved suspects, not to mention they are in different regions of Canada or in different countries,” said Harms.
He says one of the best ways to combat fraud is education.
“Make people aware and educate them so they don’t fall victim to it in the first place,” he said.
Constable Victor Iliescu tells the Mail they have seen a growth of scam attempts involving bitcoin in the area.
He explains there is a common threat to these scams in that they play on people’s greed, promising incredible returns for something up and coming.
He says the scammers will reach out on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp, and it appears they play the long game, not asking for money right away but cultivating a relationship.
He likens it to a pig butchering scam.
“It’s a metaphor, they fatten up the pig. They build the relationship, they get the person comfortable with them in the prospect of talking to this person and introducing an investment possibility and how they make amazing returns and so forth,” he explains.
He says the victims are then directed to send money, sometimes it is through a legitimate-looking website. They will provide a secure login, and any money sent will appear as a balance in an account.
“The money may go to somebody’s Bitcoin wallet, where it is very difficult to trace, and it is most certainly international,” he explains. “Sometimes they will send some money back to build that confidence… which gets them to send more money.”
He said they have seen several victims who have lost in the range of five figures through this scam.
While it is impossible to tell if there is a certain demographic targeted he says the victims are often approaching retirement and are looking at ways to build their savings.
The scam doesn’t end there. When a person asks to withdraw funds, the scammer indicates it is possible however, they will have to pay taxes or fees on the funds, attempting a last grab on the person’s money.
“If that doesn’t work, the recovery scammer will reach out to victims,” said Iliescu.
This is where a person reaches out and tells the victim they will help them recover the funds. And the cycle starts all over again.
“The way the bitcoin scams work is they obscure where the funds go, so getting the money back is almost never a possibility, so education is the best way to combat this.”
“If it is too good to be true, that is because it often is.”

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