Five people, including a woman from Oakville, were arrested in Operation Silver Fox by Halton Police for a $ 100,000 romance fraud and scam in Burlington.
Halton Police 3 District Criminal Investigation Bureau has laid several charges against the suspects for defrauding an elderly victim.
A romantic con artist forged his identity as Darren Michaelson, a retired Canadian Army sergeant, and contacted the victim in October and November 2020. Once he began an online romantic relationship with the victim, he tricked the victim into sending large sums of money to people they believed. would help Michaelson overcome legal hurdles and help him return to Canada.
The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) confirmed that the victim was the victim of fraud over $ 150,000. Police laid the following charges against the suspects:
- Possession of criminal property over $ 5,000
- Laundering of the proceeds of crime
- Fraud over $ 5,000
- Fraud under $ 5,000
HRPS is planning more arrests and believes there may be more victims of the romance scam.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center, in 2020, online romance scams defrauded Canadians over $ 7.3 million. Police stress that residents should never send money or gift cards to strangers. In addition, personal information such as identification, passwords or financial documents should not be provided when communicating online.
HRPS urges residents with information regarding this investigation to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Bureau of Criminal Investigations – Seniors Liaison Team at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344
Please note that those charged are considered innocent and can only be proven guilty by a court.
Due to the presumption of innocence, Oakville News does not publish the name (s) of the suspect (s). The Halton Regional Police Service usually displays the name (s) of suspects on their website.