‘Tis the season for scamming

Sidney North Saanich RCMP issue warning about holiday-time scams

Generosity is a common theme at Christmas and thieves prey on philanthropy.

The two most common scams reported to the Sidney North Saanich RCMP this month are the grandparent and the problem-with-your-computer scams.

In the theft targeting grandparents, callers identify themselves as a grandchild and convince the elderly person to send them money, as they are in trouble with the law or have a urgent medical condition elsewhere in the country.

“This is a very common fraud and at the very least, ask many questions that only your grandchild will know, in order to ascertain if it is really them,” said Cpl. Chris Swain. “You can also contact another relative about the situation and advise you will call them back.”

In the computer scam, callers offer to fix common computer problems, such as removing viruses or speeding up the computer. They request remote access to people’s computers and sell the program they use over the phone.

“Never give remote access to your computer as they can then install programs that take online banking or other important information,” Swain said.

While those remain the top scams of the year, another is cropping up: the selling of royalties from a homemade music CD. The seller makes a CD and sells a percentage of the royalties for thousands of dollars to unsuspecting buyers.

“Potential investors are urged to do research and obtain evidence that the CD will be worth as much as advertised,” Swain said.

For more detailed information on these and other types of common frauds, please visit www.phonebusters.com.


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