RCMP intercept Okanagan woman’s $40,000 intended for fraudsters

A Kelowna resident was led to believe she was aiding a police investigation

A Kelowna woman was nearly scammed out of an additional $40,000 before RCMP intervened.

Investigators with the Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) of the RCMP intercepted the cash being shipped to a Lower Mainland location before it could reach the scammers.

The woman in her 60’s was led to believe she was aiding a police investigation when she was called and told to follow certain steps in order to collect “cash rewards” from the scam artists.

“Under the direction of the suspects, the victim downloaded software applications to her computer, which authorities believe allowed remote access to the woman’s computer and in turn her online banking information,” said Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

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The con-artists then tasked the woman with making cash withdrawals of $40,000 and purchases of $38,000 worth of Google Play gift cards. She later discovered the money being deposited into her account, to subsidize those purchases and withdrawals, was being transferred from her other accounts and credit cards as cash advances, and she was not being reimbursed in the way she was led to believe.

“It’s important for the general public to know that the RCMP would never ask someone to co-operate in a police investigation in this manner, nor would a victim be offered financial compensation,” O’Donaghey said.

“RCMP also encourage the public to consider verifying a police officer’s identity, if they are dealing with them over a phone. It can be as simple as calling their detachment’s non-emergency line or their police dispatchers.”

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The investigation remains ongoing and the victim is still seeking compensation after the financial loss of purchasing the gift cards as part of the scam.

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