St. Thomas, Ont. couple lose $17K in Bitcoin scam, police say

Police headquarters in St. Thomas, Ont., as seen Oct. 2, 2020. Andrew Graham / Global News

St. Thomas, Ont., police are reminding the public to be aware of online scams after a couple in their 80’s recently lost $17,000 in a Bitcoin scam.

According to investigators, the victims believed they bought $250 worth of Bitcoin back in January from a seemingly verified online site based in England, U.K.

The couple was later contacted in April and informed that their initial $250 investment had grown to more than $17,000. The couple was then instructed to download an app to their computer and insert their banking information so the funds could be transferred into their account.

“That never happened,” said St. Thomas police Const. Tanya Calvert.

Click to play video: 'Police warn about bitcoin scam'
Police warn about bitcoin scam

Over the course of several months, multiple withdrawals were made from the victim’s bank account which they were told were “processing fees.”

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Police say that money is likely gone for good.

“Ninety per cent of the time, we can never recoup the funds because they’re overseas,” Calvert said. “This is beyond the investigative abilities of the St. Thomas Police Service because we don’t have the resources. These things have to be handed over to the RCMP or international scam investigators to try to link it all together.”

Police also urge the public to visit Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for more details on regularly circulating scams.

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