Coquitlam, BC – Thanks to the quick work of the public, the media and the Coquitlam RCMP a suspected online fraudster has been identified.
The fraudster’s photo and description were released on February 14, 2017, after a victim from Coquitlam came forward. Her case was linked to three other cases of suspected fraud and theft.
The investigation is still active and charges have not yet been laid so the suspect’s name will not be released at this time.
Cpl. Michael McLaughlin with the Coquitlam RCMP says
Coquitlam RCMP would like to thank the public and journalists who spread the word so quickly and effectively. Without your help, this suspect would not have been identified so quickly- and may not have been identified at all.
If you think you have been the victim of romance fraud or any other crime, call your local police department right away. We are here to help.
The RCMP needs your help to identify an internet romance fraud suspect and to make sure he’s not victimizing more women.
On January 1, 2017, a Coquitlam woman met a man who answered a personal ad she’d posted online. The man was very charming and was soon staying at the victim’s home. The victim found herself spending all her time with the suspect but she never went to the suspect’s residence and never saw his vehicle.
On January 7, 2017, the suspect walked out of the victim’s home and disappeared. The victim found that her house keys and bank cards had been stolen and money had been withdrawn from her account. The suspect’s phone numbers have since changed, his email addresses have led nowhere, and he never lived at the address he claimed.
The Coquitlam RCMP investigation has linked this same suspect to three similar cases in the Metro Vancouver area.
“Investigators believe there is a strong possibility that other women have been, or will be, the subject of this scam,” says Cpl. Michael McLaughlin with the Coquitlam RCMP. “We want to make sure no more women are victimized and we are asking for your help to identify the suspect as soon as possible”.
The suspect is about 45 years old, 190cms (6’3), 114kgs (250lbs), and has a stocky build with a round face. He has dark brown hair that may be in a ponytail, a trim beard and very blue eyes. The suspect has used multiple aliases including ‘Richard Harvey Silver,’ ‘Jack Harvey,’ ‘Dan Whelan’ and ‘James Whelan.’
Cpl. McLaughlin says that “good, trusting people are most vulnerable to romance fraudsters but there are ways to protect yourself. Whether online or otherwise, be careful of people who want to get too close, too quickly and who always want you to pay.”
If you think you can help identify this suspect, call the Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 and ask for Cst. Sienna Cooke. If you think you’ve been a victim, call your local police department right away.
Police File # 2017-708