West Shore RCMP is looking for a fraudster, and a resident is out $10,000 after a bitcoin scam in Langford.
On July 2, Mounties were contacted by a Langford man who received a phone call from what appeared to be the West Shore RCMP non-emergency line. This is a common scam where fraudsters use internet phone phishing technology to change their numbers on your call display.
The suspect posed as a police officer and told the victim he was facing criminal charges and to avoid trouble he needed to deposit money into a bitcoin account.
At about 2:40 p.m. the same day, the suspect picked up the victim and drove him to a bank at West Shore Town Centre. The suspect stayed in the vehicle and instructed the victim to take out money from the bank and then take a taxi to a bitcoin deposit location in Victoria, according to RCMP.
“Phone phishing and bitcoin frauds are unfortunately common. What is not common is the suspect posing as a police officer, offering to pick you up and driving you to the bank. Generally, these frauds take place over the phone and the fraudster pressures you into staying on the phone with them until the deposit is done,” said Const. Nancy Saggar, media relations officer.
The suspect was not dressed in a police uniform, wasn’t driving a police vehicle, and didn’t show police identification. He is described as a Caucasian man in his 40s, 5’5” with a slim build and brown hair wearing a light-coloured sweater and khaki pants driving a newer red Toyota Corolla. He used the pseudonym “Rayen Rosen.”
“We have canvassed the area for video surveillance, but unfortunately the suspect and his vehicle were not caught on camera. If you were in the area at the time and have dash camera footage please look through it and contact us if you think you captured footage that can help us,” Saggar said.
The suspect would have been parked near the Royal Bank at West Shore Town Centre between 2:40 and 3:15 p.m. on July 2.
Anyone with information is asked to call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264. For more information on how to keep safe from fraud visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.