Operation Silver Fox

Posted On Wednesday September 15, 2021

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) 3 District Criminal Investigation Bureau has made multiple arrests in connection with a series of frauds related to a romance scam operating in Burlington.

In October and November 2020, a senior victim was contacted by a person claiming to be a retired Canadian Army Sergeant (named Darren Michaelson), and began an online romantic relationship.  

Over a number of weeks, the victim was deceived into sending money to persons they believed were assisting Michaelson with legal troubles and assistance returning to Canada.

The victim was defrauded of more than $150,000.

A 21 year old female of Oakville has been arrested and charged with:

  • Fraud Over $5,000
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime over $5,000
  • Laundering the Proceeds of Crime

A 38 year old female from of London has been arrested and charged with:

  • Fraud Over $5,000

A 36 year old male of Toronto has been arrested and charged with:

  • Fraud Under $5,000

A 35 year old male of Toronto has been arrested and charged with:

  • Fraud Over $5,000
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime over $5,000
  • Laundering the Proceeds of Crime

 A 28 year old male of Toronto has been arrested and charged with:

 

  • Fraud Over $5,000
  • Laundering the Proceeds of Crime

Further arrests are anticipated and police believe there may be additional victims.

Police would like to remind residents to danger and frequency of these types of scam. Do not send money or gift cards to persons you have not met in person. Do not provide your personal information such as financial documents, identification or passwords when communicating online.

More information on the scams can be found on the Anti-Fraud Centre website or the Halton Regional Police Service website.

https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm

https://www.haltonpolice.ca/en/staying-safe/frauds-and-scams.aspx

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center, online romance scams took more than $7.3 million from Canadians in 2020 alone.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau - Seniors Liaison Team at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344

 Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. "See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

 Media Inquiries:

Halton Regional Police Service
Corporate Communications
Phone: 905-825-4899
Email: corpcomm@haltonpolice.ca