Crypto scam: Ontario man loses nearly $500K
An Ontario man says he is “devastated” after spending his entire life savings in an investment scam he got involved with following a YouTube video he watched.
“I’m devastated. It ruined me, and it’s my life savings gone,” said Stephen Carr of Meaford, Ont.
Online investment scams continue to be a massive problem in Canada, and Carr is one of many victims.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, 2021 saw $379 million in fraudulent losses in Canada, with the number one cause for loss being cryptocurrency fraud.
Carr said he was on YouTube when he saw a video that promised he could make large amounts of money trading commodities, foreign currencies and cryptocurrencies.
He said he contacted the company and started off with an initial amount of $250 to invest. When that appeared to be growing, he put in another $2,500.
At one point, Carr asked for a $1,000 withdrawal, which he received and gave him confidence the website was legitimate.
After that, from a period in October 2022 to January 2023, Carr invested his life savings of $498,000.
“What I didn’t know at the time is this trading platform I was on was a simulation, it wasn’t connected to anything, like a flight simulator that’s not connected to a real airplane,” he said.
Carr became concerned when he thought his funds had grown to 1.3 million and wanted to take some out. But, he was told he would have to pay a $150,000 liquidation provision to get his…