A Nanaimo man was scammed after trying to lend a family money and accepting fake gold jewelry as collateral.
Nanaimo RCMP issued a press release this week warning of several scams that have happened this spring, including one at a food service business in the north end on April 3.
Police say the victim, who was working at the time, was approached by a “well-dressed couple” with two small children in a newer-model vehicle. The couple asked for money, saying they had lost their wallet. They gave the victim several pieces of gold jewelry as collateral and said they would phone him in “couple of days” to arrange repayment.
“The victim later discovered the address they provided was fake and the phone number given was incomplete,” said RCMP.
The suspects were described as Middle Eastern. The woman was close to six feet tall, dressed in black and wore a red and white head scarf, and the man was about 5-foot-8 and wore a grey suit. He showed the victim Ontario ID during the alleged fraud.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file No. 2021-11848.
File No. 2021-15591
On April 30, a woman received an e-mail from a friend asking that she purchase a $100 Amazon gift card on her behalf and then forward it as a gift to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. After complying, the victim learned her friend’s e-mail account had been hacked.
File No. 2021-15502
A man fell victim to the ‘grandson scam’ last month in Nanaimo.
On April 29, a man received a phone call from someone who claimed he was a lawyer representing the victim’s grandson. The lawyer said the grandson had been in a car accident, was in jail and needed $6,000 immediately. The victim was provided with two bank account numbers, deposited $3,000 to each account, “and it was gone,” said RCMP.
File No. 2021-12576
A senior lost $4,500 in a computer scam last month.
On April 8, a woman called police to report the scam. She said she “received an alert on her computer” advising her to call a phone number. She did so and was told she was being hacked and that someone was buying pornography on her computer.
“In order to stop it, she needed to purchase Google cards and if anyone asked what the cards were for she was to say they were for her grandchildren and that they were very important,” noted RCMP in the press release. “The victim, in her late 70s, spent most of the day driving around buying the cards.”
After purchasing the cards, the woman called back and provided the 10-digit codes on the back of the cards.
“The phone number provided was later determined to be a digital text line with no means of determining where it originated,” RCMP said.
Police advise that members of the public protect the money in their bank accounts by hanging up when fraud is suspected, and calling someone to discuss financial requests from strangers before making decisions. Police warn people not to let emotions influence financial decisions, and remind that if something is too good to be true, it is. Changing passwords frequently is also recommended.
Fraud attempts should be reported to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or visiting www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.