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Young Oakville resident arrested with four others in an online romance scam

The romance scammer swindled more than $150,000 from a senior victim.

Five people, including a female from Oakville, were arrested in Operation Silver Fox by Halton Police for a 100 thousand dollar fraud and romance scam in Burlington.

Halton Police 3 District Criminal Investigation Bureau pressed multiple charges on the suspects for defrauding a senior victim.

A romance scammer faked his identity as Darren Michaelson, a retired Canadian Army Sergeant and contacted the victim in October and November 2020. Once he began a romantic relationship online with the victim, he tricked the victim into sending large sums of money to persons they believed would assist Michaelson with legal hurdles and help him return to Canada.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) confirmed that the victim was defrauded of more than $150,000. The police laid the following charges on the suspects: 

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

HRPS anticipates further arrests and believes there may be additional victims of the romance scam.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center, in 2020, online romance scams swindled more than $7.3 million from Canadians. The police highlight that residents should never send money or gift cards to strangers. Additionally, one should not provide personal information such as identification, passwords or financial documents when communicating online.

For more information on the scams, you can visit the Anti-Fraud Centre website or the Halton Regional Police Service website.

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

Please note that persons charged are considered innocent and can only be proven guilty by a court of law.

Due to the presumption of innocence, Oakville News does not publish the name(s) of suspect(s). Halton Regional Police Service typically posts suspect(s) name(s) on their website.