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Nanaimo woman defrauded out of $1,800 in messaging app scam

Victim purchases multiple pre-paid credit cards despite store clerks’ warnings
A fraudster, who posed as a victims daughter via WhatsApp, has bilked a Nanaimo woman out of $1,800. (Stock photo)

A Nanaimo woman lost $1,800 in a scam that was carried out via the WhatsApp texting platform.

The fraud happened Monday, Feb. 13. According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, the victim told police her daughter is travelling overseas and the two of them had been using WhatsApp to communicate with each other.

Several weeks ago, the victim’s daughter told her that her WhatsApp account had been blocked and to start using Instagram to communicate with her, but on Monday, the victim received a WhatsApp message from someone who she thought was her daughter. The victim mistakenly believed it was OK to resume using the app to communicate. In the conversation, the scammer said she had recently dropped her smart phone in a toilet and needed $1,800 to purchase a new one and directed the woman to purchase nine Vanilla pre-paid MasterCards at gas stations and at Walmart. Once the cards were purchased, the victim sent the 10-digit codes from each card through WhatsApp.

When the fraudster tried to convince the victim to send more money, the woman realize she was being scammed, broke off communication and reported the incident to the police.

“The clerk at each location warned her that it appeared she was being scammed,’ said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the press release. “The victim, however, overlooked the warning signs because, in her mind, she was simply helping her daughter out of a bind.”

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

READ ALSO: Police warn ‘romance scams’ can trick victims into relationships and out of money

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About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

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