The Revelstoke RCMP issued a public notice to be wary of fraudsters after at least two local families fell victim to frauds in the past several months.
In the first instance, a family was defrauded several months ago of what the RCMP said was a “substantial” amount of money. Police attempted to intervene after a friend of the family notified the RCMP about the situation, but the family continued to forward money to the fraudster.
More recently, an older couple fell victim to another fraud scheme. In this instance they were told they won a $4.5 million lottery in Jamaica. All they had to do was forward money to clear taxes and clear customs. They sent some money but fortunately due to the intervention of friends and the police, some of the money transfer was stopped and recovered.
The two occurrences have led Staff-Sgt. Jacquie Olsen of the RCMP to issue a warning to Revelstokians to watch out for these schemes. She wrote:
“These frauds have continued from the days of the “snake oil salesman,” they are slick and they are persistent, but it is all lies to try and get your money. The modern era with phones and computers has made it possible and easy for them to reach places like Revelstoke. One of the worst parts of this type of crime is that once they realize that they have been defrauded, the victims feel like they are stupid for being taken and do not tell anyone. Because of the international nature of this type of crime, prosecution is very difficult which allows them to continue the scams.
Remember the old adage, ‘if it is too good to be true!’ People will lie to get what you have. It does not matter how nice and personable they are with you on the phone or at the door. If you did not buy a ticket or legitimately enter a contest, then you cannot win. If you do not have family in say South Africa, then they did not leave you an inheritance. Just because they think you need a new roof does not mean you do.
Do not think that you cannot be fooled; schemers would not be in business if they did not find victims. To protect yourself you need to educate yourself on how these schemers work, preferably before they come to your home. If you receive any messages do not be pressured by “urgent” time frames, take the time to research it, talk to and seek the advise of family and friends and if you are still in doubt on determining the validity of the request, please feel free to contact the police, or phone busters at www.phonebusters.com, or research www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes.“