Toronto woman loses $340,000 to cryptocurrency scam

A woman from Toronto, identified only as Natalya, is bravely speaking out about losing $340,000 in a cryptocurrency scam, hoping to prevent others from falling into the same trap. Last fall, Natalya came across a YouTube video promoting cryptocurrency investments as a fast route to wealth. Intrigued, she reached out to the company mentioned in the video, and after being convinced by a persuasive caller, she initially invested $250. Seeing some growth, Natalya trusted the company further and ended up wiring a total of $340,000. Despite receiving small sums back and being encouraged to spend on luxury items, she eventually realized she couldn’t withdraw funds from her account, indicating fraud. Ashamed of her gullibility, Natalya kept the ordeal private, but with increasing instances of cryptocurrency scams, she decided to share her story to raise awareness. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reported that Canadians lost $309 million to investment scams in 2023. Jason Tschetter, who lost $81,000 in a similar scam, founded Fraud Hunters Canada to assist victims, and the organization is rebranding as Cyber Crime Victim Service to provide support for those affected by cyber fraud. Many victims suffer severe consequences, including financial ruin and mental health issues. Despite the devastating impact of her loss, Natalya hopes that by speaking out, she can prevent others from experiencing the same ordeal. Additionally, some victims are targeted again by criminals promising to recover their lost funds for a fee, compounding their losses in yet another scam.

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