Romance scams in Canada shot up by 237% to $64 million in 2021

Rick Steves

Techniques include approaching people via dating apps, messaging apps, or other social media sites, in order to develop an online relationship.

Bank of Canada

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Canadian Securities Administrators’ (CSA) has warned the public of the rise of fraudsters luring Canadians into online relationships that lead to investment scams

Investment scams and romance scams were the top two reported scams in 2021, according to data from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), which indicates that (reported) romance scams increased 24% year over year (1,546 in 2020 vs. 1,928 in 2021), costing innocent people over $64 million in 2021 compared to over $27 million in 2020.

Fraudsters are targeting people of all ages and demographics

Louis Morisset, Chair of the CSA and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers, said: “Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in targeting Canadians, particularly as we spend more time online. They are increasingly using social media and dating sites to manipulate people into establishing virtual friendships or romantic relationships and then requesting money for investment scams after building trust.

“Fraudsters are targeting people of all ages and demographics – it can happen to anyone. It is extremely important to recognize the signs of investment scams and always do your own research before you hand your money over to invest.”

Techniques include approaching people via dating apps, messaging apps, or other social media sites, and 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.

Fraudsters are also able to take control of a victim’s friend’s social media accounts in order to pose as such and convince the person to invest, thus taking advantage of their trust: 25% of Canadians stated that they can usually trust someone who is promoting an investment if they have a friend who has already invested with them.

Fraudsters may claim that they will use a person’s money to buy investments, such as crypto assets, and cut off all communication once receiving the funds.

Read this next

Digital Assets

Meet Grand Time: The Community-Driven Web3 Platform Where You Can Tokenize Your Time

Community-driven Web3 platform Grand Time is on a mission to help people enter the crypto market by providing the necessary resources through its multifaceted platform and native token.   As a fully decentralized and community-oriented platform, Grand Time is empowering people worldwide to become financially independent through its two-sided GIG marketplace. Unlike most Web 2.0 […]

Digital Assets

FTX US adds stock trading, fractional shares to crypto platform

FTX US, the American subsidiary of crypto exchange FTX has kicked off stock trading feature to its customers in an effort to compete with popular platforms such as Robinhood and eToro.

Industry News

UK FCA empowered to remove brokers’ permissions in 28 days

Businesses with permissions they don’t need or use, risk misleading consumers. These new powers will enable us to take quicker action to cancel permissions that are not used or needed.

Industry News

CFTC charges $44m Ponzi scheme but millions may have fled to foreign crypto exchange

The CFTC alleged that defendants transferred millions of dollars to an off-shore entity that, in turn, may have transferred funds to a foreign cryptocurrency exchange. None of these funds were returned to the pool.

Technology

Saxo Bank deploys Adenza to address Basel and EBA requirements

The integration of ControllerView will enhance Basel-driven capital calculations and reporting at Saxo Bank in support of the bank’s multijurisdictional capital and liquidity reporting requirements throughout Denmark, Switzerland and UK, with plans to expand into the Netherlands.

Executive Moves

ComplySci appoints CTO, CPO, and CLO to further regtech’s product expansion

ComplySci offers compliance software used by more than 1400 global institutions to identify risk and address regulatory compliance challenges.

Digital Assets

Thailand closer to launch digital asset exchange “to serve the needs of younger generations”

TDX is a subsidiary of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and its incorporation is part of the group’s strategic position to connect capital markets, open opportunities for the business sector in raising funds and cater to investment demand of new generations.

Digital Assets

Russia to legalize cryptocurrency payments as sanctions bite

Russia could soon be the latest country to lay down ground rules for legalizing cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, a sign that governments around the world are realizing that digital assets are here to stay.

Institutional FX

XTX Markets UK reports lackluster results for 2021

The UK business of XTX Markets, a non-bank FX liquidity provider and market maker, has reported its financials for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021. The report showed impressive metrics after seeing revenues and customer activity increase even as the pandemic trading boom fizzled out.

<