News

Scam swindles kids' cash

Nanaimo RCMP are warning the public about a cheque cashing scam that has claimed three victims so far.

The incidents happened in late June and early July when three teenage boys, ages 14-16, lost $100 each after two men asked if they would cash cheques for them.

"These criminals approach kids and say they just got out of jail and don't have a bank account," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

The con artists gave each boy a sealed envelope, which they said contained a cheque for $240. If the boys agreed to cash them, they promised to give each of them $40 dollars.

Thinking it was easy money with no risk, the boys went to their banks and deposited the cheques.

"The kids, fortunately, were only able to take out about $100 because they're kids and banks often put a hold on funds," O'Brien said.

The suspects told them they could keep the balance and they will be happy with just the $100.

The boys discovered they'd been scammed when their banks called several days later and told them the envelopes were empty.

Both suspects were in their 20s, one First Nations, the other Caucasian.

“This is a harsh reminder for the boys to always be aware of strangers asking for favours concerning money," O'Brien said. "If it is too good to be true, it probably is."

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.

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