Victoria police have recovered tens of thousands of dollars from alleged online scammers, and are looking to locate more victims in the case.
The investigation began in spring 2018, when a Victoria woman reported being the victim of an online scam pretending to clean her computer of viruses.
The scammers got away with $1,400, police said.
According to police, the same woman was contacted again by scammers several months later. They claimed that the previous scammer had been a rogue employee, who had now been fired, and that they wished to return her money.
Police said the scammers gave her a series of directions, and convinced her that she needed to receive and then resend the money due to complex tax and accounting rules.
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“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,” said Victoria police in a media release.
“The bank placed a hold on the payments after it became apparent that they were fraudulent.”
Police said they had now identified victims in Ontario, New York, Wisconsin and New Jersey. With the help of banks, they said they have been able to recover more than $35,000 from an account in India.
Victoria police said they were able to return $23,000 of that money to a victim in Ontario and $12,000 to another victim in Wisconsin.
No one has been criminally charged in the case, and police said they continue to work with partners in other jurisdictions to try and identify victims of the fraud.