B.C. woman warns others after falling victim to broken cellphone scam

Click to play video: 'North Vancouver woman warns about texting scam'
North Vancouver woman warns about texting scam
WATCH: A North Vancouver woman is echoing a warning from RCMP after being victimized by a texting scam. As Troy Charles reports, she thought her son's request to send her money was legit until she watched our report on Global News – Mar 26, 2024

A North Vancouver woman is echoing a warning from RCMP, saying she’s been taken by a cellphone scam.

Kim Hubbard told Global News she received what appeared to be a text from her son, who is currently in Spain, asking her for money to cover a payment because he had lost his cellphone.

The message said, “Hi mom, I dropped my phone, this is my new number, text me back when you see this.”

After texting back and forth, the scammer asked Hubbard to make two payments that they were unable to make because their new phone could not access their banking app.

At this point, the North Vancouver mother asked who she thought was her son to phone her.

“And then he said ,’I can’t call, my sim hasn’t been activated yet’,” Hubbard said.

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At this point, she said red flags were not going off because while living abroad, her son has had a history of going through phones and sometimes needing help to make certain payments back in Vancouver.

Hubbard would eventually e-transfer the scammers almost $2,000.

Click to play video: 'VPD warns seniors about new twist on scams'
VPD warns seniors about new twist on scams

It wasn’t until the next day when she saw a segment on Global News Hour at 6 about phone scams that she questioned what had happened.

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“As soon as it came on, I thought, ‘Oh, my God, I think I perhaps have been a victim of this fraudulent scamming with the cellphone because this is exactly the way it looked the previous evening’,” Hubbard said.

She said she felt nauseous and victimized that this could have happened.

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The scammers, she said, even used the heart emoji in their messages, which her son often did in his.

When she was finally able to talk to her son the next day, she said, they realized what had happened.

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: B.C. senior who fell victim to failed banking fraud scam wants her money back'
Consumer Matters: B.C. senior who fell victim to failed banking fraud scam wants her money back

North Vancouver RCMP said it is the fourth report this year of the broken phone scam, with losses totaling over $10,000.

“The last few that we have seen, the numbers are 289 area code, generally,” Const. Mansoor Sahak with North Vancouver RCMP said.

“If you get a number like that, ignore it and just delete the message.”

Hubbard’s bank has since declined her fraud claim.

She said the entire ordeal was a lesson for herself and others.

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“I just hope by going public here that I can prevent someone else from experiencing the same thing.”

If this type of fraud has victimized you, report it to police and contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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