Almost a year later this money laundering story has a happy ending.
It’s fraud prevention month and the Victoria Police Department has recovered more than $35,000 from an online scam that was first reported to them last year.
In the spring of 2018, a local resident reported she was a victim of an online scam that was thought to be cleaning her computer of viruses. Initially, the scammer made off with $1,400.
Not satisfied with the first crop of fast cash, a few months later the same scammer contacted the woman stating the company had fired the employee and was going to return the money to her. After following a series of directions in an attempt to regain her money, the scammer convinced the woman that due to tax laws and accounting regulations, she needed to receive and re-send the money.
According to VicPD, the scammers were laundering money from other fraud victims through the original victim. The bank placed a hold on payments after it became clear fraudulent activities were taking place.
Investigators say other victims of the scam have been identified in Ontario, New York, Wisconsin and New Jersey. With the assistance of banks, more than $35,000 was recovered from an account in India. VicPD were able to return $23,000 to a victim in Ontario and $12,000 to a victim in Wisconsin.
Currently, no criminal charges have been laid, but investigators are continuing work with officers in other jurisdictions to identify other victims across North America.
If you have been the victim of fraud, call the police at 250-995-7654.
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