A nearly yearlong investigation by the London Financial Crime Unit of the RCMP has resulted in 18 charges against a duo from Toronto.
According to investigators, the accused had set up a secret shopper mass text fraud, using equipment to send up to 96,000 text messages at random a day.
Those who responded to the texts would then be sent forged cheques appearing to be from various large Canadian businesses. The victims would be persuaded to deposit the cheques and then send their own money back to the accused’s’ “overseas confederates”.
Once the banks learned of the forgeries, it would be the victims who had to pay.
Local RCMP received a tip in January from one of the companies whose logo was being forged and along with help from Toronto Police were able to trace the fraud to a single bedroom apartment in Etobicoke.
A 24-year-old and 31-year-old, both from Toronto, each face 9 counts of forgery.
Police believe each round of mass texting could potential have resulted in up to $400,000 being stolen from Canadians.