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Canada P.E.I. man warns of internet scam after losing $17K

12:52  25 june  2020
12:52  25 june  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

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Police said the victim met a woman on a social networking site and developed a romantic relationship with her. An alert bank staff member at OCBC stopped a man from remitting $ 17 ,100 overseas in an internet love scam .

Most internet scams are fundamentally the same. They prey on one of two human weaknesses As of the first quarter 2018, phishing scams represent about half of all cyberattacks, according to the security firm RSA. Phishing scams were the third-most common type of internet crime reported in

A P.E.I. man is sharing his story in the hopes of protecting others from scammers. © Brian Higgins/CBC A P.E.I. man is sharing his story in the hopes of protecting others from scammers.

A P.E.I. man is warning Islanders of a computer-phone scam, after losing $17,000 himself.

"I would certainly hate to see this happen to anybody else," said Don MacFadyen. "It's a pandemic, all the scamming that's going on right now."

In mid-June, Don MacFadyen said he was using his home computer when what looked like a message from Microsoft popped up on the screen. It claimed someone was trying to hack his bank account and he would be contacted by telephone the next day and told how to protect his funds. 

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Greeting card scams are another old Internet scams used by malicious actors to inject malware and harvest users’ most valuable data. If you open such an email and click on the card, you usually end up with malicious software that is being downloaded and installed on your operating system.

After about 2 weeks of complaining, they sent me some bullshit screenshots showing a bunch of random information in regards to IPs and locations, the IPs Support goes silent after copy and pasting their response and I don't seem to have any recourse other than to post in this thread? https://imgur.com/njk0x74.

When the scammer called, MacFadyen was told to take cash out of his bank and transfer into a digital currency via a bitcoin machine.  

"He wanted all my money withdrawn," said MacFadyen.

"He wanted $17,000 withdrawn from my account and I wasn't supposed to tell anybody."

MacFadyen said the scammer told him the attempted hacking was under investigation and to stay quiet so they could catch the predator. 

After MacFadyen transferred the money into a bitcoin machine in Charlottetown, he was told to use other money to buy several thousands of dollars worth of Google Play gift cards. 

"And then I got the sneaking suspicion that this just does not feel right," said MacFadyen.

Similar case of fraud taken to court

When he called police, MacFadyen learned he wasn't the first victim of this kind of scam in P.E.I. 

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The scammers in this case likely matched up a database of emails and stolen passwords and sent this scam out to potentially millions of people, hoping that enough of them would be worried enough and pay out that the scam would become profitable.

Bank customers targeted in new 'smishing' scam : Warning after one customer lost £23,000 (and Santander won't refund his cash). Edward Smith, of Sheffield, lost his life savings after receiving the message on an existing Santander thread asking him to call a number regarding potentially fraudulent

In 2019, a woman deposited $62,000 into a bitcoin machine in Charlottetown, believing she was paying owed taxes. 

She took the bitcoin machine company to court to try to get her money back, but a judge ruled the money belonged to that company, which hadn't perpetrated the scam. 

Staff-Sergeant Kevin Baillie, of the Prince Edward Island RCMP, said if someone purports to be calling from a bank or governmental department and asks for money in the form of gift cards, it's a sure sign of a scam. 

Baillie said the pandemic could be putting more people at risk of becoming a victim of fraud.

"If people are kind of holed up in their home or working from home, not getting out of the house, they may be paying more attention to emails and phone calls," said Baillie. 

MacFadyen said while he has little chance of getting his money back, he hopes to stop others from falling into the same trap. 


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