Skip to content

Nanaimo woman loses $4,000 through text message scam

Crime victim thought she was communicating with her son and helping him with bills
A Nanaimo woman thought she was texting with her son, but was instead scammed out of $4,000. (Stock photo)

A woman who thought she was texting with her son ended up being scammed out of several thousand dollars.

According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, the incident played out on Jan. 23 and involved a phone number from Quebec.

According to the release, the victim told investigators she had been texting with her adult son who lives out of province, but a short time afterward, she received a text message from an unknown number. The message began with the sender saying “I’m stressed, can you help pay some bills for me.”

The woman assumed the text came from her son, responded to the unknown number and asked why he was using a different number. The scammer replied he had been having issues with his phone and had purchased a new phone.

Over the course of several texts, the scammer provided an e-mail address and a business name. The woman was instructed to send two e-transfers, one to be directed to The two e-transfers totalled approximately $4,000.

The next day, she received another text from the scammer asking for more money. At that time, she contacted her son and discovered she had been scammed.

RCMP say the scammer was texting from a 581 area code.

“This scam could happen to anyone,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the release. “The best course of action is to always slow down, give it some thought, use Google … to assist if necessary and always verify who you are communicating [with] before making any financial decisions.”

The woman’s bank has since reimbursed her for almost 50 per cent of her losses.

To learn more about current frauds and scams, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at

READ ALSO: Officials in Nanaimo warn of scam calls from seemingly legit phone numbers

About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

Read more