A Nanaimo Senior Loses $100,000 in a Crypto Scam

According to a Nanaimo senior, he is on the edge of bankruptcy because he had his bank account emptied and credit card maxed out in a cryptocurrency scam. 74-year old Robert Dunning is a retired electrician who has suffered from a loss of $100,000 because his line of credit, savings, cheques as well as credit card accounts have been cleaned out. All of this happened in the fall over a two-week period, after he had decided to set up online banking and had made an investment in Bitcoin worth $250. Dunning said that he had wanted to try out the crypto space, so he had the minimum amount possible.

He said that he had wanted to leave his $250 in Bitcoin to see what would happen. He had received a call from someone the next day, who identified himself as a trader from an online broker and offered to help Dunning in setting up his account. Dunning said that the caller already has his phone number and email and he was only asked to show a picture of his driver’s license. He was told that online banking was essential for him to be able to set up his account. Dunning had immediately activated his online banking and the scammer contacted him the next day. 

Dunning revealed that the scammer said he had already made a profit from his original investment and needed to invest more money. Dunning had responded that he didn’t want to invest any more funds and just wanted to see what would happen with this investment. He said that at one point, the caller had remotely taken control of his computer and Dunning had watched when he had browsed through his accounts in the procedure of setting up. The caller had reassured him that everything looked great, so they could proceed with the trading process. 

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But, Dunning said that unbeknownst to him, the caller had used his computer to gain access to his online banking and was able to withdraw his money. Every weekday, the trader had called Dunning and had reassured him that he was making ‘amazing profits’ on the investment he had made. Dunning didn’t know how that was possible and wasn’t aware that for the full two weeks, his accounts were being emptied and his bank did not issue him any warnings. He said that he had discovered he was out of all money when his card was denied at the grocery store.

He had gone to the bank then and was informed that there was only $1 in his account. Dunning said that almost $101,000 had been stolen, which included $9,000 from his chequing account, $30,000 from his line of credit, $25,000 via his credit card, and $37,000 from his savings account. According to Dunning, BMO had conducted an investigation and stated that they couldn’t take any responsibility. Dunning said that he had only gotten a MasterCard alert on the last day of the money being withdrawn and nothing before that. He has reported the scam to the police. 

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