Police issue scam alert

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP receiving increasing number of complaints of scams

  • Apr. 22, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Spring has sprung and so have the familiar scams Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP receive complaints about.

Over the past few weeks, the local detachment has been receiving an increased number of calls from concerned citizens about scams and other related ways to get your hard earned money.

“The police and members of our safe communities unit are asking everyone to be extra cautious when dealing with phone calls around winning money from Publishers Clearing House, they do not do phone solicitation,” said RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

“The phone numbers are from out of North America. The caller is advising you have money waiting but you need to send an amount of money to have it released.”

The popular grandparent scam has reached the region again, and several people have called the office about this scam.

“The callers were better informed, asked the right questions of the caller about the grandchild, and did not allow it to go to the point of sending money but called and reported it,” said Molendyk.

A third type of solicitation that is a concern to local residents, though it is not a scam, is that it is referred to as reverse billing.

That is where a statement has been sent out by a company along with a sample of a product for you to try for a time period.

“You may have asked to try the free sample of the product and they do tell you that in the statement,” said Molendyk.

“If you do not call them to stop the product in a short time period, they send more products and bill you for it.

“This method of sale puts the responsibility on the consumer to make sure you contact the company and cancel the product right away. If you forget you will be billed for a product that you likely do not want or will not use.”

Molendyk said these are just a sampling of the scams that are very active in the area, along with other ways to get somebody’s money right now.

“We are reminding everyone to be alert out there and remember if you didn’t order it or if it seems too good to be true it likely is,” said Molendyk.

“Be safe out there.”