The Winnipeg Police Service’s Financial Crimes Unit has recently seen a spike in consumer investment scams via online social media platforms. Investigators have seen several methods in which people are being targeted via their social media accounts.
One method has included fraudulent investment invitations that are sent to people’s social media accounts. Profitable investment opportunities are promised if they send money to put towards the investment, and additional funds are later requested to release the proceeds of this fraudulent investment. The victim later determines the investment opportunity or company is fake, and they have been defrauded.
In other instances, people’s social media accounts have been hacked, and their contact lists are infiltrated. The previously mentioned investment scam is then replicated using their trusted contact list to reach more potential victims
The Financial Crimes Unit is actively investigating such incidents and encourages the public to verify investment sources before partaking in any online financial trading and investing. If you receive an invitation from a “friend/social media contact,” confirm they are a legitimate contact who has sent you a request or invitation.
Should you be victimized by a fraudster, please report it using the online reporting system. Awareness is pivotal for our investigators to assist the public and curtail such crimes. More information (including how to report frauds) can be found here: https://www.winnipeg.ca/police/TakeAction/frauds_scams.stm