Victoria police are warning people of scams after an 83-year-old Victoria woman was conned out of $3,000. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria senior cheated of $3,000 in gift card scam

VicPD warns the public of phone fraudsters posing as legitimate institutions.

The Victoria Police Department is warning the public to watch for scams after an 83-year-old woman was tricked out of $3,000 through a phone call she thought came from Visa.

When the Victoria woman answered her phone last week, the caller claimed to be a Visa representative and told the woman her Visa account had been hacked. The caller told the woman that the hackers had racked up $2,600 in eBay charges on her card, according to a VicPD news release.

The “Visa representative” said the only solution was for her to purchase $5,000 in Google Play gift cards and provide the card information to the caller. The woman followed instructions and purchased three $1,000 gift cards — each from a different convenience store — before an employee at the fourth store informed the woman that she was being scammed.

READ ALSO: Tips on how to protect your aging loved ones from financial abuse

VicPD is reminding people that a financial institution will never ask clients to purchase gift cards to fix banking issues. Any phone call of this nature should be treated as a scam — hang up immediately and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

If a person provides any financial or personal information before realizing it is a scam, VicPD recommends they contact their financial institution and call the police department’s non-emergency number as soon as possible.

Other common phone scams come from fraudsters pretending to be the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and local police departments. Phone calls from these kinds of institutions should be treated with extreme caution.

A list of ongoing scams and best practices in avoiding and dealing with them can be found on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

More information can also be found on VicPD’s fraud webpage.

READ ALSO: RCMP warns of COVID-19 scams spreading through B.C.


 

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