Scams are increasing rapidly

During the month of March the Williams Lake RCMP has teamed up with local media to heighten awareness around scams.

  • Mar. 24, 2013 3:00 p.m.

During the month of March the Williams Lake RCMP has teamed up with local media to heighten awareness around scams.

Traditionally March is Fraud Prevention Month and due to the growing popularity of social media, scams are increasing rapidly, says Inspector Warren Brown.

Each week the media has focused on two or three scams from a list of the top ten provided by the Better Business Bureau.

In a colourful brochure featuring the scams there’s a drowning of the human brain which the BBB uses to suggest there is a psychology of scams.

“They appeal to trust and authority, exploit basic human desires, personalized offers appears legitimate, induction by way of making small commitments, belief that large award justifies fees, lack of emotional control, increased hostility and guilt, and opening for re-victimiazation.”

Today’s focus is on computer virus fixing schemes and twisted text prizes.

Inspector Warren Brown says many complaints have come into the RCMP about computer virus fixing schemes.

“There’s one out there that pops up on the computer screens with an RCMP logo telling customers if they send in $100 the virus can be removed,” Brown said. “We don’t fix the public’s computers. That is a scam.”

The Better Business Bureau advises people not to click on pop-up advertisement offering anti-virus services.

In other incidents people might receive a phone call with a warning their computer has been infected with a virus. The caller will offer to fix the computer.

What’s really happening is the scammer is trying to gain remote access to your computer and gain credit card information, the BBB warned.

The scammer will say they need remote access to provide the supposed services and will ask for computer passwords and related information.

“If you receive an unsolicited call offering anti-virus services, requesting access to your computer or asking for credit card information, hang up,” the BBB advised. “Never give an unsolicited caller access to your computer and always buy anti-virus software from a legitimate vendor you trust.”

Twisted text prizes will alert the recipient that they’ve won a major retailer’s gift card. To claim it the person needs to go to a website and enter a PIN to receive the card.

If the PIN and an email address are entered, then a form will appear asking you to fill in your name, cell number, and mailing address.

The form will also ask a random question maybe about returning to school or if you are a diabetic.

“When you reach the page to claim your gift card you will find you are directed to another site to apply for a credit card,” the BBB explained. “In the end, you never receive a credit card and you have given out personal information.”

It is also important to ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO” to prevent future texts. This is a common trick by scammers to confirm they have a real, active phone number.

These types of texts can be forwarded to 7726(SPAM).  By forwarding the scam the cellphone carrier is alerted to block future texts from those specific  numbers.

“If you think your text message is real, be sure it’s directing to a web address and not just a seemingly similar website name,” the BBB said.

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

Just Posted

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

The Grade 2 class of 150 Mile House Elementary attended Cariboo Memorial Hospital with teacher Kirsty Bowers to deliver “kindness” bags full of small gifts to housekeeping staff. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
150 Mile House students deliver gift bags showing appreciation for hospital staff

Students begin Monday morning with a bus trip to Cariboo Memorial Hospital

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

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

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read