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Crypto Scammers Target Canadians on Dating Apps, Leading to Major Financial Losses

This summer, crypto scammers are aggressively targeting Canadians on dating apps and websites.

Unfortunately, many people looking for love are suffering significant financial losses.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has identified a surge in two specific types of crypto scams targeting Canadians: romance scams, also known as pig butchering, and investment scams.

In response, the CAFC and the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) issued a joint warning about these sophisticated scams, “particularly those involving extended online communication.”

Scammers typically approach potential victims on dating platforms, convincing them to switch to private messaging services.

Authorities caution Canadians to be suspicious of individuals who discuss crypto trading or investments.

“Fraudsters may try to befriend the victim, develop an online romance, or pose as legitimate investment advisers.

“Over time, the scammer will suggest investing in an opportunity, often involving crypto assets,” the warning states.

Victims are often lured into crypto investment schemes promising unrealistic returns.

They are directed to sign up on fraudulent investment platforms created by scammers.

Initially, victims can withdraw small amounts to make the scheme appear legitimate, but eventually, their funds are locked out once their identity is compromised.

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Canadians are encouraged to report such fraud incidents to the CIRO, CAFC, and local police.

In 2023, Canadians lost $309.4 million to known investment frauds, with $172 million stemming from social media-related scams alone.

Canada is preparing to implement the international Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) for taxation by 2026, as outlined in a supplement to the 2024 annual budget.

The CARF will introduce new reporting requirements for crypto asset service providers (CASPs), such as cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, dealers, and automated teller machine operators, whether they are individuals or business entities.

The report lists “stablecoins, derivatives issued in the form of a crypto-asset, and certain nonfungible tokens” as examples of crypto assets.

“Crypto-asset service providers would be required to obtain and report information on each of their customers, including name, address, date of birth, jurisdiction(s) of residence, and taxpayer identification numbers for each jurisdiction of residence,” the report states.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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