OUR VIEW: Too good to be true? Probably

Peninsula residents must remember to be wary of scams

We and other news media could put out stories on a weekly basis about all the scams that plague people, but the scams would still happen.

And although many people are wising up to these evildoings, sadly, too many people still fall victim to frauds.

Police in Central Saanich and the Sidney North Saanich RCMP are renewing their warnings to be wary of scams after several recent cases.

On May 11, a 62-year-old man from Sidney called Sidney North Saanich RCMP about a scam. He had been contacted and informed that he won a multi-million dollar prize. To collect it, he was told to send $200 to the lottery’s head accountant.

Suspicious, he called RCMP, who traced the head accountant to a Saanich address. The lotto call originated from Jamaica, with an area code of 876.

In addition, residents have reported being targeted by scamming door-to-door sales people across the Peninsula, in Saanich and Oak Bay. The culprits offer power washing, painting or driveway repairs, then leave with the payment without doing the job. A senior woman in Central Saanich was driven to the bank by suspects, and when she took out money for the “job” they offered, they left her without a hefty sum of cash and the job undone.

Then, a Sidney man called the Peninsula News Review last week about a scam on an online buy-sell site. He was contacted by a potential buyer from London, England, who sent him a $2,500 cheque for an item worth $300. The Sidney man became suspicious and called RCMP, luckily before falling prey to the fraud.

There’s also the Microsoft scam that tells computer owners they need a software update that costs a modest amount. But when the “technician” is given access to the computer, he or she can access the person’s bank account and take out more.

There is no end to the types of scams out there. This newspaper will continue to help police put out warnings about them, but it’s up to you to keep yourself safe as well.

As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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