An online Ponzi scheme has swiped more than $140,000 from at least 14 victims, Alberta RCMP said. Now, the Integrated Market Enforcement Team is warning the public to be cautious.
"We are asking the public to be vigilant in the investments they are making via apps and online platforms that promote significant profit or returns on their finances," IMET Sgt. Tyson Duff said in a March 16 statement.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) identified a countrywide scam called Aweunion or Awebuy that several Albertans fell victim to.
The scam sees people invest money in an online app they registered for after seeing it advertised on social media. The app is said to use investors' money to buy under-performing products on Amazon to drive up its popularity, boosting consumer interest, the police statement reads.
Investors believe that when these products become more popular, they will receive a commission from their investments, but they see little to no return and are unable to contact app administrators.
“Avoid falling victim to such scams by carrying out your due diligence and thoroughly researching the businesses you are trusting with your money.," Duff said.
Members of the public are encouraged to verify trusted charities and businesses on the Better Business Bureau website at bbb.org.
More information about ongoing scams is available though the CAFC at antifraudcentre.ca, or by calling 1-888-495-8501.