Kelowna RCMP are warning residents of investment scams making the rounds in the Okanagan that have already resulted in significant financial losses.
The suspects in these scams offer the victim an investment opportunity that has a great rate of return in a short period of time. These opportunities are often unsolicited and may appear to have some legitimacy but will not hold up to scrutiny.
Some of the various types of scams being offered include, cryptocurrency, art, comic books, and sports memorabilia and other such items.
“The Kelowna RCMP is reminding people that when considering an investment opportunity to carefully research the investment and the individual or firm offering the investment,” said Const. Mike Della-Paolera.
The suspects are able to complete the fraudulent transactions by offering a unique investment opportunity in these areas and they provide contracts that appear legitimate and which offer a higher rate of return than what might be available with traditional investments. However, once the first investment is made the suspect will offer additional opportunities and roll the original investment into a new opportunity inflating the value.
Once the victim asks the suspect(s) for a return on their investment they are told that the money is tied up and additional funds are required for the release of the money due to things like tax implications or issues with international borders. Const. Della-Paolera says the suspects have at times provided some money but never as much as the original investment.
The old adage, "if it looks too good to be true it likely is," applies to this scenario and RCMP advise investors to know the red flags of fraud.
"If you feel you’re a victim of a scam, fraud or cybercrime, contact your local police and also report to the CAFC online or by phone at 1-888-495-8501," Const. Della-Paolera says.