RCMP issue new family scam alert

Prince George RCMP and local residents report cases of Internet and telephone scam activity in the region.

  • Aug. 29, 2014 5:00 p.m.

At least two people in Williams Lake have reported that they have recently received phone calls or e-mails from people trying to get money or banking information from them. Fortunately they realized in time that the call was likely a scam.

RCMP in Prince George also report that another scam is being operated in the region by fraudsters claiming to be a family member or a close friend of a family member and advising the potential victim about an urgent situation that requires immediate funds.

Prince George Cpl. D.J. (Dave) Tyreman said common themes have been that the family member was arrested or got into an accident while travelling abroad. Thus fees are required for hospital expenses, or bail.

Since 2009, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has received 17,132 emergency scam complaints accounting for more than 24 million dollars in reported losses.

The average loss per victim was $3,743.07.

Of the 17,132 complaints there were 11,889 emergency scam occurrences reported by Canadians.

Know how to protect yourself.

Confirm with other relatives the whereabouts of the family member or friend.

Police, judges or legal entities will never request that money be sent through money service business such as Western Union or MoneyGram.

Never voluntarily give out family members names or information to unknown callers.

Always question urgent requests for money.

Ollie Martens says she was in the middle of making a dozen pies when she received a call from someone claiming to be from a publishing company saying she had won some money and asking her for information on how to deliver the money. She said the scammer asked for her mother’s maiden name, and gave it, but fortunately twigged to the scam when they asked for her bank number.

Martens said she normally would have recognized a scam a lot sooner and told the caller to get lost, but being preoccupied with her project she wasn’t as on her toes to this type of call as she might have been. She cautions others not to let their guards down.

“It’s the principle of the thing,” Martens said. “It just irritates me that people will try to take money from you by trying to get your bank information or use your grandchildren to get money. We know our children and grandchildren.”

Please consult the following website for more details: http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/english/home.html.