Nanaimo electronics store employees saved a customer from being defrauded out of thousands of dollars last week and police say there have been several recent reports of similar scams.
According to a Nanaimo RCMP press release, workers at the Best Buy in Nanaimo sensed a customer was being scammed on Tuesday, Aug. 23, as the customer attempted to purchase $3,500 in pre-paid credit cards. The employees convinced the person not to go through with the purchase after a lengthy discussion.
People should be aware that scams and fraud involving credit cards and banks are on the rise in Nanaimo, the press release said, with at least 12 reported over the past seven days. Losses have ranged from $1,000 to $2,500.
Generally, the scam starts with a call from someone claiming to work for Visa or a chartered bank, said the press release. The prospective victim is warned about unusual purchases on their account and are advised that the only way to remove the transactions is to buy gift cards or pre-paid cards. One person was directed to London Drugs to buy gift cards, another to Canadian Tire to buy pre-paid MasterCards and another to Walmart and London Drugs for gift cards, noted the press release.
“These scammers are quite convincing, but it is important to remember that accredited financial institutions or online merchants will never direct you to purchase gift cards or pre-paid credit cards,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, in the press release.
For more information on scams, go to www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/scams-fraudes/azindex-eng.htm.