TORONTO -- Toronto police say they have laid a number of charges following a year-long employment fraud investigation where victims deposited fake cheques before shelling out their own cash.

In a news release, police said that in February of last year 52 Division received a number of complaints about a “sophisticated scam” targeting those in the Greater Toronto Area.

The investigation, dubbed Project Drop, found that individuals were repeatedly sending out “hundreds of thousands” of text messages to cell phones across the GTA advertising employment opportunities for couriers.

The texts claimed that interested applicants could work for a “small GTA lending company” by delivering loans.

“Victims were instructed to pick up and deposit what they thought were legitimate business cheques, then pay funds to other individuals in cash, Bitcoin or e-transfer,” police said.

Police said that all of the cheques were eventually discovered to be “well-made forgeries.”

Investigators claim they were able to identify several individuals who they believed to be responsible for the scam and subsequently carried out a number of search warrants in Toronto and Mississauga.

A condominium unit in downtown Toronto included in those search warrants is suspected to be the “operations centre” for this fraud scam, police said.

Officers said they seized cheque forging materials, electronic devices and SIM cards during the execution of those search warrants and arrested four people.

Police said that one of the individuals arrested was also in possession of fraudulent government identities under the name of Anne-Catherine Robert, but did not disclose which suspect was in possession of those materials.

Britanny Broad, 23, of Mississauga is charged with fraud over $5,000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, and identity theft.

Enosch Falaise, 32, of Laval, Que. is charged with having instruments for counterfeiting, possession of proceeds of crime, and fraud over $5,000.

Jerry Revolus, 29, of Laval, Que. and Sydney Saget, 35 of Longueil, Que. are both charged with fraud over $5,000 and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

The suspects were scheduled to appear in a Toronto courtroom on Feb. 27.

Police are asking anyone with information related to the investigation to contact them or Crime Stoppers.

If you believe you have been a victim of similar circumstance, or an other fraud, police are asking you to contact them.