- Our Town
Environmental complaint tactic in latest scam
A Williams Lake woman was told by a scammer this week she was in trouble with the Federal Bureau of Environmentalists.
"He left me a message saying someone had filed a complaint against my name," Kim Couture told the Tribune.
Couture sprays to landscape in her yard. She doesn't use any chemicals, however the call scared her.
"It's all organic yet I was worried I had stepped on someone's toes," Couture said.
When she received the message, the 36-year-old mother of three children called back immediately.
It was then the scammer changed the story and said instead he was acting on behalf of the federal bureau of investigation.
"He said I had failed to fill out a form on my income tax, gave me a phone number, and said if I didn't get an attorney my assets would be frozen and the RCMP would come to my door to take me to jail."
Couture kept insisting it was a mistake, but the scammer persisted, saying Couture could, however, pay a $1,498 penalty to avoid going to jail.
When he suggested she purchase a prepaid Visa card to make a payment, she realized it was a scam. When he asked for her cell phone number she gave him a fake one.
"I've never experienced anything like this before and it scared the crap out of me," Couture said.
The caller had a strong accent, making him hard to understand, yet he was very aggressive.
"It was also a real invasion of privacy and even though I escaped it all I lost a lot of sleep that night," she continued.
When Couture called the Canadian Fraud Centre the person there said scammers are very good at intimidating people.
"He said they scare you first so you can't think straight," Couture explained, adding her daughter was upset hearing that her mom might go to jail.
The scammer's phone number was 1-647-800-2965. Luckily Couture wrote it down because when she went back to look at her call history, the number was not there, she said.