Online scams, phone scams and even hackers getting into online accounts can ruin your financial security, so staying on top of the latest scams is important. (Pixabay photo)

Online scams, phone scams and even hackers getting into online accounts can ruin your financial security, so staying on top of the latest scams is important. (Pixabay photo)

Telephone fraudsters foiled by alert Shuswap resident

Callers claiming to be with Reader’s Digest ask for money to receive $3.5 million prize

Being a long-time reader of Reader’s Digest didn’t prevent a Salmon Arm resident from hanging up on individuals claiming to be with the publication asking for money.

In fact, Donna (last name withheld) hung up twice on her callers who’d asked her to submit payment in order to receive a cheque for $3.5 million.

“The minute they started asking for money, you know damned well there’s something wrong,” Donna cautioned.

The Salmon Arm resident called the Observer to share her experience with the would-be scammers so that others who receive a similar call might hang up sooner.

“It was actually quite a detailed conversation – not that they got any money out of me, but I thought, ‘oh my God, they sound very convincing,’” said Donna. “And because I do subscribe to Reader’s Digest, it took me off guard.”

The call came on Monday, Jan. 11, by individuals purportedly with Reader’s Digest with the news Donna and her husband had won money.

“They disclosed it was $3.5 million, tax free of course,” said Donna. “And then he gave me his name, Andy Mason, a phone number, and he gave us a package number, a cheque number and a claim number. And then what happened was he put his supervisor… on the line, who confirmed all the numbers with me.”

After confirming the numbers, Donna was asked who she banked, and then the caller said they needed her bank card number.

“I said no you don’t, you’re not getting it,” said Donna. “So they said, OK, we’ll FedEx it to your house. I said OK, fine. I was waiting to see what would happen then.

“In order to FedEx to my house, they asked for $1,500 – for insurance apparently. And I said that’s ridiculous. Then they came back with, ‘Oh, well, $800.’”

Over the course of the call Donna said she spoke with three people. After being asked for money, she hung up.

Five minutes later, Donna received another call, from the same individuals, who suggested they’d been disconnected.

“I said no, I hung up on you. So anyway, as it was, I hung up on them again,” said Donna.

After sharing her story with the Observer, Donna said she would be sharing it with the RCMP, along with the names and phone numbers she recorded.

In December 2020, Sicamous RCMP said they’d been made aware of three attempts made to defraud local seniors through a Reader’s Digest lottery scam.

According to Reader’s Digest Canada, sweepstakes winners are never asked for money to enter or receive any prize. Those who are are encourage to contact local authorities or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501), a government agency that monitors and identifies marketing fraud across the country.

Read more: Lottery scam targets Shuswap seniors

Read more: Phone scam targets Summerland resident

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Salmon ArmScams

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke Women’s Hockey Team, circa 1905. Back row: M. Buck, N. Dunne, L. Bliss, E. Pettipiece, V. Coleman. Front row: M. Corley, B. Sawyer, A. Buck. (Revelstoke Museum & Archives Photo 66)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Jan. 14

Local history from the newspaper archives

In many ways, 2020 felt similar to bushwhacking over alder-choked mountains on a hot day, while chased ragged by mosquitos. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Liam’s Lowdown: What a year 2020

Each year I guess what might happen, last year taught me not to do that

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement facility. (Good Samaritan Society photo)
Resident of Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement home tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Health has not declared an outbreak at the facility

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Most Read