Vernon North Okanagan RCMP have been receiving reports of phone scammers claiming to be police seeking payments in Bitcoin and gift cards over the past month. They issued a warning to residents Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Phone scammers claim to be Vernon Mounties: RCMP

Cold callers claiming to be police seeking payments in gift cards and Bitcoin

Fraudsters are calling residents in the North Okanagan claiming to be “federal agents” or “RCMP officers,” Vernon police warn.

The individual on the other line claims there are criminal charges or warrants for arrest out for the person called and convinces the victim to send money through gift cards or Bitcoin, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP said in a warning issued Tuesday, July 14.

The elaborate telephone fraud has been circulating the area for over a month, police said, noting they have received several reports from the public.

“What makes this call feel real to the victims is that the fraudster already has some of their personal information,” media relations officer Cpl. Tania Finn said.

“In addition to that, the caller ID on the telephone display is that of the Vernon RCMP Detachment.”

Vernon police remind the public that they must protect themselves from falling victim to this type of crime.

“Be sure to never give out personal information on unsolicited calls,” the statement from police reads. “The RCMP will never ask the public to transfer funds nor will any legitimate business or government agency ask for payment in the form of Bitcoin or gift cards.”

Vernon Mounties said don’t be afraid to hang up or say no to a person on a call that you believe is a scam.

READ MORE: CN Rail doing repairs near Vernon road

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