Victoria BC – Investigators recovered more than $35,000 in a complex scheme and are looking to identify more victims.
In the spring of 2018, a victim reported to us that she was a victim of an online scam to clean her computer of virus. The scammer made her pay $1,400. A few months later, in the fall of 2018, the same victim was contacted by the scammer stating that the company had fired the employee and were going to return her money. She then followed a series of directions in an attempt to retain her money. The scammer convinced her that due to tax laws and accounting regulations, she needed to receive and then re-send the money.
Investigators have determined that the scammers were in fact laundering money from other fraud victims through the original victim that reported the online scam in 2018. The bank placed a hold on the payments after it became apparent that they were fraudulent.
Investigators have identified victims in Ontario, New York, Wisconsin and New Jersey and with the assistance of the banks, were able to recover more than $35,000 from an account in India. VicPD investigators followed the trail of money and were eventually able to return $23,000 to a victim in Ontario and another $12,000 to a victim in Wisconsin.
No criminal charges have been laid. However, investigators are continuing to work with officers in other jurisdictions to identify other victims across North America.
If you have been the victim of this fraud, call us at 250-995-7654