Puslinch resident defrauded of $300,000 by online ‘friend’

PUSLINCH – Police are again warning Wellington County residents about scams after a person here was defrauded of over $300,000.

Wellington County OPP officials say they received the fraud report on Feb. 26.

“Since October 2022, the victim had sent over $300,000 to a person who a friend had met online,” police stated in a Feb. 27 press release.

“The suspect would present different reasons for needing money which the victim would then send via a Bitcoin machine.”

Police say the victim also invested in the suspect’s business venture “with the promise that their money would double.

“However, when the victim was unable to withdraw any funds from the alleged investment, they became suspicious and contacted police.”

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), in 2022 Ontario residents lost approximately $136,489,556 in investment related frauds and approximately $20,332,013 in romance related frauds.

Further, it is estimated that only 5 to 10 per cent of frauds are actually reported to the CAFC or police.

Police say residents should never send “money or personal information to someone you have not met in person.”

Anyone with information about this incident can contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip at www.csgw.tips. Tip providers may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.

Visit the CACF website for more information on how to protect yourself from being the victim of fraud.