The Alberta RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) is warning the public of an online Ponzi scheme. The scam promises individuals a return on investments made to an app which claims to use funds to purchase under-performing products on the online e-commerce site Amazon in order to drive popularity and increase consumer interest. Of the 14 reports made the Alberta RCMP, victims have lost a total of $148,630.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has identified a recent nation-wide scam involving several Alberta victims called Aweunion or Awebuy. Registration for the app is advertised over social media. Individuals then invest money to be used by the app to purchase unpopular Amazon products to increase their relevancy and improve performance through the site's algorithm. Individuals believe they will receive a commission from their investments; however, victims see little to no return and are unable to contact Aweunion administrators after investing a significant amount of their personal finances.
"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," says Sgt. Tyson Duff with IMET. "Avoid falling victim to such scams by carrying out your due diligence and thoroughly researching the businesses you are trusting with your money."
Members of the public are encouraged to verify trusted charities and businesses on the Better Business Bureau website at www.bbb.org. You can also find information about ongoing scams though the CAFC at www.antifraudcentre.ca, or by calling 1-888-495-8501.