RCMP Warn Residents of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Bitcoin Scam

Strathcona County, Alberta – In the past month Strathcona County RCMP have seen another variation of the commonly known Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) scam.

Victims are being contacted by phone and told that they have overdue taxes to pay and if they don’t, they will be arrested. In this version, victims have been told to send their money using Bitcoin ATM’s. Victims are told to withdraw cash from their bank account, deposit the cash into a Bitcoin ATM which converts the cash into Bitcoin and then transfer the funds to the caller.

Unfortunately, Bitcoin is a worldwide virtual currency that is not regulated by a central body, which makes it impossible for victims to get their money back once its been deposited into a machine and transferred to a “virtual wallet.”

Police would like to again warn the public about the CRA scam and remind them that the CRA would never ask for payment to be made through gift cards or Bitcoin and would never use the phone as a first point of contact when dealing with clients.

If contacted by the CRA in such a manner, police recommend hanging up the phone, and if in any doubt, to source the true number for the CRA and make your own inquiries about the status of your account. Do not call the caller back on any phone numbers that they themselves have provided you.

For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Strathcona County RCMP Detachment at 780-467-7741.

Posted: 2017-12-18

Strathcona County RCMP Warn Seniors of the “Dishonest Teller” Scam

Strathcona County, Alberta – Strathcona County RCMP warns residents of the “dishonest teller” scam that has been targeting seniors in the community.

The scam usually begins by a victim receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be an employee or manager at their bank. The victim is led to believe a bank employee is stealing from their account and their assistance is needed to catch the culprit. The victim is told the bank replaced the lost money and instructed to withdraw a large amount of cash and hand it over to someone posing as a security person or bank investigator. The fraudster will give a variety of explanations, claiming they need to check the serial numbers, do an audit or mark the currency and deposit it to see if the “dishonest teller” withdraws any of the money.

Some of the most vulnerable people in our community are seniors. Fraudsters frequently target seniors in an attempt to scam them out of their money. An informed senior can see through these scams and protect themselves. Here are some tips to prevent being a victim of a financial scam:

-Do not give out financial or personal information over the phone or internet. -Immediately call your bank manager or someone known to you at your bank to notify. -A bank employee will never ask you to withdrawal money and hand it over. -Never give cash to someone you don’t know or are meeting for the first time. -Banks will never request citizen assistance in undercover investigations or, even worse, ask citizens to withdraw money from their account. -Be diligent in checking your bank statements and accounts, and report any questionable activity to your bank as soon as possible.

For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Strathcona County RCMP Detachment at 780-467-7741.

Posted: 2017-11-28

Strathcona County RCMP Warn Residents of Online Scams

Strathcona County, Alberta – Strathcona County RCMP warn residents that online scams are more prevalent than ever before and increased vigilance is necessary as scammers continue to find creative ways to victimize trusting people.

On Monday November 20, 2017 Strathcona County RCMP received a fraud complaint involving a popular buy and sell site known as kijiji. The complainant sent a $500 deposit through e-transfer to hold a 16 foot vehicle trailer until the complaint could arrange to pick it up. The suspect provided an address in Ardrossan, Alberta for the complainant to pick up the trailer and provide the remainder of the money for the sale. When the complainant attended the Ardrossan address it was determined that it was a scam.

It's difficult to see who is real and who is just a scammer behind the monitor, but you can protect yourself - you just need to know what kind of frauds are out there and the best practices to keep your identity, money, and personal information safe.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when using buy and sell sites on the internet:

  • Meet in a local, public and safe location to complete the exchange.
  • Beware of generic emails with bad grammar.
  • Beware of overseas buyers who want to buy unseen items.
  • Never send money to get money.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Ask a lot of questions. If the seller is reluctant to answer questions, give information about the item they are selling, meet or give you an address to where you can meet, that should raise a red flag.

For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact the Strathcona County RCMP Detachment at 780-467-7741.

Posted: 2017-11-20

Strathcona County RCMP Warn Residents of Computer Scam

Strathcona County, Alberta – Strathcona County RCMP want to warn residents of a computer scam that has been circulating and causing citizens to lose thousands of dollars.

Although there is several versions of this computer scam it usually begins with a phone call from a person claiming to work for a software company. They tell the victim there is an issue with their software protection or the company is going out of business and cannot continue providing software support. In both instances they will advise the victim they are entitled to a refund.

The victim is requested to accept the refund by logging on to a pop up pay pal account or allowing the scammer access to their computer. By allowing access to the computer the scammer will either have entry to online bank accounts or in other cases will request ransom in order to stop accessing the victim’s computer.

Prevent being a victim of a computer scam and other financial scams:

  • Don’t give control of your computer to a third party who calls you out of the blue.
  • Do not rely on caller ID alone to authenticate a caller. Criminals spoof caller ID numbers. They may appear to be calling from a legitimate company or a local number, when they’re not even in the same country as you.
  • Online search results might not be the best way to find technical support or get a company’s contact information. Scammers sometimes place online ads to convince you to call them. They pay to boost their ranking in search results so their websites and phone numbers appear above those of legitimate companies. If you want tech support, look for a company’s contact information on their software package or on your receipt.
  • Never give your password on the phone. No legitimate organization calls you and asks for your password.

Posted: 2017-11-08