RCMP are reminding the public that a variety of scams are making the rounds in the North Okanagan. - Image credit: file photo

Scams, like spring, are in the air

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP relay a list of scams making the rounds

Spring is in the air, and unfortunately so are the scams.

‘Tis the season for the North Okanagan to be targeted by a variety of phone, e-mail and online scams.

“So, in the spirit of the season, the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP would like to remind the public of a few of the favourites, and remind everyone of some basic safety tips,” said Const. Jocelyn Noseworthy.

The favourites:

#1- Canada Revenue Agency Scam

In the latest rendition of this scam, a person is contacted by phone and told that they owe thousands of dollars to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and threatened with jail if they don’t provide the money. They are often instructed to buy iTunes cards, activate them and provide the codes to the fraudsters.

#2-Emergency Scam

Usually this scam is directed at grandparents, but over the years we’ve seen con-artists pretend to be friends, neighbours, and other family members. The con artist calls the grandparent and pretends to be a grandchild in need. Typically they claim to have been in a car accident, need bail money or have some sort of other emergency.

The con-artist will ask the victim not to tell anyone else due to embarrassment or fear. The victim wires money to what they think is their grandchild in need, but in reality is a stranger who just conned them out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

#3- Prize Scam

This one is constantly being reinvented, but the general idea is that the con-artist contacts a victim by phone, social media, or email and says that they’ve won a large lottery or sweepstakes. The victim is then told they must pay a fee up front to receive their winnings. In some cases, the con-artist has even convinced victims to turn over bank account information.

In all cases, despite giving the con-artists the fee they demand, victims never see a cent of the supposed winnings.

Protecting yourself

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

No matter who you think is calling, never give out personal information over the phone.

Remember, the CRA uses registered mail to contact consumers – not e-mail or phone.

Use your common sense. For example, ask yourself why a branch of the government would want iTunes cards?

If someone contacts you allegedly from a company, hang up and contact the company yourself to verify the information.

When in doubt discuss it with a friend. Never rush into a decision because someone is pressuring you.

What should you do if you become a victim on a scam?

Gather all the information about the fraud. This includes anything written down, and receipts/bills.

Report the incident to your local police.

Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

If the fraud involves a bank or company, notify them.

If it was an online fraud, notify the website of the incident.

If you are the victim of identity fraud, you should place flags on all your accounts and report to both credit bureaus (Equifax and Transunion).

For more information on frauds, scams, and how to prevent yourself from becoming a victim, please contact the City of Vernon’s Community Policing Office in person at 2900-32nd Avenue; by phone at 250-550-7840 or online at https://www.vernon.ca/government-services/contact-directory/community-safety-office.

Just Posted

Kelowna, Vernon biathletes hit top 10 to end Olympics

Julia Ransom and Emma Lunder close out the Olympics with 10th place finish

Date set for Silver Creek man’s bail ruling

Curtis Sagmoen will learn on Feb. 28 if he will be released from custody

No resolutions for unhappy for north Westside residents

Self-governance hopes remain distant dream

UPDATE: Serwa second fastest in ski cross seeding

Kelowna ski cross racer has solid run in the seeding round of the women’s ski cross event

Resources for victims of sexual violence to be made available at Hedley concert

A gathering is planned for outside Prospera Place on the date of the concert,

Thief helps himself to cash register

Vernon business asking for public’s help to identify suspect

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Sports coach makes “great strides” in counselling

Peace bond settles charges of assault causing bodily harm in Princeton BC

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team ends 24-game winning streak

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

Voices of Nature reaches elementary students

By Barb Brouwer, Observer contributor Music has the power to touch the… Continue reading

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Tired of ‘big city life’? One-stoplight town hosts contest to lure in city slickers

Contest by BC Rural Centre hopes to attract city folks to a small town in the Kootenays

Student protest outside White House a snapshot of American gun debate

Demonstrators take part in a student protest for gun control legislation in front of the White House

Feds can’t do much to fight fake news in Canada

Federal government can’t do much to fight fake news: Canadian Heritage documents

Most Read