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Huntsville couple loses $680,000 to fake investment scam

A fraud investigation was started after a Huntsville couple invested approximately $680,000 into what they believed to be a legitimate institution
OPP are warning of fraud

Huntsville OPP has charged two people in a fraud investigation concerning a massive GIC investment scam.

On November 18, 2023, the Muskoka Crime Unit and Anti-Rackets Branch started a fraud investigation after a Huntsville couple invested approximately $680,000 into what they believed to be a legitimate institution, identified as Alterna Bank.

Upon further investigation, it was found that the account was not associated with Alterna Bank and that the representatives were using aliases.

A man and woman from Severn Bridge, south of Gravenhurst, have been charged under the Criminal Code.

Valerie Gillette, 38, and Christopher Gilette, 39, are each charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. Police did not say if the two are related.

Both are scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Bracebridge on March 19.

Warning signs and how to protect yourself against fraud:

  • Before investing, ask for information on the investment. Research the team behind the offering and analyze the feasibility of the project.
  • Some fraudsters will use the names of legitimate companies to lend credibility to the fraud and convince victims to send money. Verify email addresses, URL's, phone numbers, and their physical address.
  • Verify if the investment companies are registered with your Provincial Securities Regulator or the National Registration Search Tool (
  • If you receive a suspicious or odd investment-related message from a trusted friend, reach out to them through a different means of communication to confirm that it is them.
  • Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself.

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.