Skip to main content

Edmonton man claims he was scammed out of $450K on crypto deal

Share

A resident of south Edmonton fought back tears Thursday as he described how he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on a cryptocurrency investment that he is now certain was a scam.

The man, who CTV News Edmonton has agreed not to identify because he claims to be the victim of a crime, said he thought he was investing $450,000 on a site called Cryptos-Circus.

"At this point, I don't have too much confidence in recovering anything. The police have basically told me that once a crypto scam is completed, you'll never see your money again," he said.

In April, he used the site to make an initial deposit. Shortly after, he says someone claiming to be an independent broker in charge of the account started asking for more money.

“We would do a trade together, it was very comfortable and convenient. Everything was going well. I saw huge returns, so it gave me the impact of wanting to do more,” he said.

After making his final deposit of more than $200,000 dollars he says the broker told him that one of the letters in the wire transfer was not capitalized, and for that reason, all of his funds were gone.

The man chose to get a second opinion from an investment firm he had used previously.

“The company reported back that (the capital letter) did not make a difference, and the place that I had the wallet address from, the money did go into that account. That’s when I got red flags and I knew immediately that’s when I got scammed,” he said.

He said he filed a complaint with Edmonton Police Service but has little hope it will result in an arrest or getting his money back.

The Ontario Securities Commission issued an investor warning about Cryptos-Circus on Aug. 22, 2022.

'HIGH RETURNS…IS THE NUMBER ONE RED FLAG'

This week, police announced that more than $5.6 million dollars of cryptocurrency have been stolen from Edmontonians through various scams since 2019.

Scammers are capitalizing on the recent spike in crypto popularity with a number of tactics, according to the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC).

“High returns, no matter what, is the number one red flag. There’s not an investment on this earth that is guaranteed to give you a high return," said Hilary McMeekin with ASC.

She added that where investors get information is crucial.

“When they're trying to pitch you from ads on dating apps and social media sites, those are not places where legitimate investors are looking to advertise,” McMeekin said.

In the case of the man who claims to have lost $450,000, he said his broker still calls him multiple times a week for more deposits.

The ASC has information on cryptocurrencies and safe investing tips on its website.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Marek Tkach

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may resume

Malaysia's government said Sunday it may renew the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 after a U.S. technology firm proposed a fresh search in the southern Indian Ocean where the plane is believed to have crashed a decade ago.

Stay Connected