Williams Lake RCMP safer communities co-ordinator Dave Dickson and Community Policing Chair Andy Sullivan are hoping to raise awareness about scams during March which is Fraud Awareness Month.

Williams Lake RCMP safer communities co-ordinator Dave Dickson and Community Policing Chair Andy Sullivan are hoping to raise awareness about scams during March which is Fraud Awareness Month.

March is Fraud Awareness Month

Every year thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud, including in and around Williams Lake.

  • Mar. 8, 2013 4:00 p.m.

Every year thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud, including in and around Williams Lake.

“Over the last while we’ve noticed more people calling regarding scams, whether it’s a letter in the mail or phone call selling ink or whatever,” RCMP community safety representative Dave Dickson said.

Most people don’t think that it will ever happen to them, but fraudsters continue to use increasing sophisticated methods to target residents of all ages and from all walks of life.

Fraud Prevention Month is an annual event that gives private and public organizations involved in the fight against fraud an opportunity to further raise public awareness. Through awareness, people can avoid becoming victims.

Williams Lake RCMP Insp. Warren Brown advised he continues to see an alarming increase of frauds reported to his detachment.

“This is not acceptable and we are certainly going to do our very best to attempt to inform our community,” he said, adding being cautious is something to be proud of.

Whether shielding a PIN number from view or asking questions of telemarketers, people should not be afraid of offending those who are asking for information or money.

Over the next four weeks, the RCMP will be participating in a series of local fraud awareness initiatives.

To help reduce your chances of being victimized by fraud, local agencies have kindly offered to assist in getting the prevention messages out to the community, including local media, Dickson said.

The Better Business Bureau has identified the top 10 scams. They will be featured through the month, starting with the first three on Mar. 8’s Tribune Weekender.

Topping the list are the advertising trolls who scam consumers who post ads to free online listings like Craigslist. The consumer becomes the target of unlicensed telemarketing companies who are trolling through online ads to find someone to make an easy buck from.

Scamming companies often guarantee to sell vehicles quickly and promise a money-back guarantee. They rarely sell it, yet charge a seller a fee. And that’s money people could save by selling things themselves.

Rather than being misled by promises of guaranteed sales, check companies out on www.bbb.org.

The second scam of the week is the online romance scam. It’s very dicey to trust people one meets virtually because while they may spend time building a relationship online, if they are a criminal, that’s all part of the plan.

Warning signs are when requests for money start to appear, with pleas the requesters has no family or friends to turn to.

Finally, the internet investment scam where fraudsters contact you by e-mail or social media or somehow lead you to a website designed to gather personal information for the purpose of identity theft.

Don’t expect to get rich quickly, experts warn, and don’t be lured by claims of insider information.

Delete and block spam emails and do your own research.

Before making any investments, people need to retrieve as much information as possible and keep copies of all correspondence and investment information.

Brown said due to the Internet social media, scams have become international as opposed to being localized so investigating them is becoming more and more difficult and costly.

“I think education and awareness are key to preventing scams. We get phone calls daily with people telling us the police just gave me a message on my computer telling me if I pay them $125 I’ll get my computer back.”

That’s not something the RCMP would ever do, he said.

“And if you get a letter from a lawyer saying ‘you have $125 million from a lost uncle, and all we need to do is open an account under your name so give us $2,500,’ don’t do it.”

Brown said the top 10 list is not  “exhaustive” but it’s a start.

To report scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (Phone Busters) at www.antifraudcentre.ca or call 1 888 495-8501.

Dickson can also be reached at 250-392-8701.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A detour via Mission Road is in place Sunday, Feb. 28 due to a vehicle incident. (Anna Fait photo)
Highway 97 closed south of Williams Lake Sunday morning, detour in place

Overnight, Williams Lake saw six centimetres of snowfall, according to Environment Canada

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read