Man loses life’s savings to scammer claiming to be Brampton police

praying man
Ghanesh Khatry thanks donors on his GoFundMe page.  Submitted photo

Police warn new immigrants to be aware of this fraud

Ganesh Khatry, a recent immigrant from Nepal, lost over $8,000 at the hands of a Bitcoin scammer.

“I felt embarrassed and at first did not want to tell anyone. My hope now is that something like this never happens to anyone,” Khatry said in an interview last Tuesday.

The Brampton resident received a phone call in October from someone claiming to be Brampton Police. The individual told Khatry that his banking and social insurance information had been compromised in drug trafficking and money laundering operations. Khatry was warned not to tell anyone and to transfer his savings into a Bitcoin ATM, for a one-day period.

Fearing he was at risk, Khatry followed the orders step-by-step. After hearing nothing from the caller, he realized he had been scammed of his life savings of $8,200. He was left with just $9 in his bank account.

Even Khatry’s friends were concerned.

“I was confused about Ganesh’s behaviour that day,” said Conrad Rizal, a friend. “He would not look me in the eye and when I asked him if he wanted a ride to the bank, he immediately refused.”

Khatry did not have a car and the local bank was within walking distance of his home. Yet, he specifically took a taxi to get to the local bank to make sure he was following the orders he’d been given.

“English is Khatry’s second language and since coming to Canada from Nepal he has worked hard by doing night shifts at the local Walmart,” Rizal said.

The incident was later reported to the Peel police.

“Spoofing is a widespread occurrence in the region and throughout the GTA,” said Const. Bancroft Wright, a spokesman for the Peel Regional Police.

There was some good news, though, for Khatry. His friend, Rizal and daughter Eliza decided to help. They set up a GoFundMe page, and within a few days, Canadians from coast to coast donated thousands of dollars. Before they knew it, Rizal’s fundraiser for Khatry raised $20,790. They decided to close the campaign because it had far exceeded the original goal of recovering the lost $8,200.

Khatry posted a video on the GoFundMe page, thanking contributors and his fellow Canadians for their generosity.

“All the additional funds that were collected I will be donating to local charities,” he said.

Khatry’s story had a happy ending, but many Canadians who are scammed are not as lucky. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is working towards combating scammers by asking people to report any potential scamming calls they receive and to be wary of Bitcoin-related requests.

“If you suspect that there is a fraud in progress, do not provide any personal or banking information. If you have been victimized, contact the police and make a report,” Const. Wright said.

A list of different types of frauds is available through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

“Fraudsters have upped their attempts to contact potential victims by phone,” said Lisanne Roy Beauchamp, a supervisor at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. “A correlation can be made between COVID-19 frauds and overall reporting to date in 2020.”
Ghanesh Khatry thanks donors to his GoFundMe page. (Courtesy GoFundMe).

About this article

Posted: Oct 29 2020 6:05 pm
Filed under: News