British Columbians lost $3.5 million to crypto-investment scams in the first eight months of 2021.

British Columbians should be wary of cyber crooks using social media and online dating sites to lure B.C. residents into crypto-asset scams.

In 2021’s first eight months, British Columbians reported $3.5 million in losses from crypto-investment scams — more than triple 2020 losses, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) reported.

And, said CAFC, there’s been a 5,600% increase in fraud to a total of $28.5 million involving cryptocurrency in Canada since 2015.

On average, only five per cent of fraud victims report such incidents to authorities.

“Fraudsters use social media and dating apps to manipulate people looking to make meaningful connections, exploit their victim’s trust, and then defraud them of significant amounts of money,” B.C. Securities Commission director of enforcement Doug Muir said.

“Be extremely wary if…

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