A recent fraud has prompted a warning from authorities after one local resident was conned out of a significant amount of money.
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are investigating after an area resident fell victim to an elaborate phone scam last week. The alleged scammers, claiming to be from their bank, advised the victim that they were conducting an investigation into on-going frauds in the area and requested access to their bank account. After the bank account was accessed, the victim was convinced that fraudulent activity may have taken place within their account. The victim was then directed to purchase numerous Google Play gift cards, from two different grocery stores in varying amounts, which ended up totalling thousands of dollars to “aid” in the investigation.
“After a considerable amount of time on the phone with the fraudulent company, the victim grew suspicious and before hanging up the phone attended to their nearest bank to confirm if it was the bank on the other line,” said RCMP Const. Kelly Brett. “It was then that the victim was directed by bank staff to immediately end the call. Unfortunately the victim did lose a considerable amount of money to the scam prior to the call ending.”
The RCMP want to warn residents that at no time should banking information be given over the phone to anyone, unless you have called the institution directly. If a banking institution should call you, advise them that you will call back using a number found on-line by you, or a number given to you previously by your bank.
Law enforcement agencies will never ask for payment to avoid or aid in an investigation.