Saanich Police are reminding residents of the variety of scams circulating in the community, pointing out that they can sometimes be hard to spot and that new ones appear every day.
“If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent funds, don’t be embarrassed – you’re not alone,” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie with Saanich Police.
He said a Saanich resident recently received a phone call from someone claiming to be with the police, and advising him his son was currently at court because of a car accident.
“The scammer directed the victim to purchase a number of gift cards and provide the serial numbers to him,” said Leslie. “Unfortunately the victim didn’t recognize the scam until it was too late.”
Residents are encouraged to protect themselves from fraud by learning how to recognize it. Helpful information on common scams and ways to protect yourself can be found at www.antifraudcentre.ca. Police urge residents to take the time to identify the people in your life who may be vulnerable to these scams.
Here are some tips to protect yourself and others from fraud:
- Be extra cautious about calls, emails etc from the Canada Revenue Agency. The CRA will not threaten to arrest you or ask you to divulge personal information, financial information or ask you to pay them in gift cards, prepaid credit cards or Bitcoin.
- Don’t be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.
- Be aware of calls, emails or mailings offering international bonds or lottery tickets, a portion of a foreign dignitary’s bank account, free vacations, credit repair or schemes with unlimited income potential.
- Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection.
- Be aware of “job offers” that have you receiving funds into your bank account and then directing those funds to company representative.
- Don’t purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service and company.
- Don’t be afraid to request further documentation from the caller so you can verify the validity of the company.
- Don’t disclose personal information about your finances, bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance and driver’s license numbers to any business that can’t prove it is legitimate.
- Shred unwanted personal information such as bank statements, credit card bills, unwanted receipts, cheques, pre-approved credit applications and old tax returns.