Jasper is a popular work destination for young people from down under, and the RCMP say they recently investigated an attempt to scam a worker looking for a job in the picturesque Alberta mountain town.
On May 11, Jasper RCMP received a complaint of a possible scam related to a fake advertizement in the local newspaper.
Mounties said the fraudsters published what appeared to be a legitimate ad seeking a care worker, aimed at people from Australia looking to move to Jasper.
After the victim replied to the ad via text messages and emails, police said the suspects mailed a fake cheque and requested the victim cash it and use it to buy some items prior to their arrival in Canada.
RCMP said the victim felt that something wasn’t quite right and decided not to cash the cheque. RCMP said the bank later advised them and the victim that if the cheque would have been cashed, the money would have been withdrawn from the victim’s account and transferred to the scammers.
In some cases, a cheque will be sent to a victim, who is later told they were given too much money and to return the balance to the sender. In reality, the victim ends up sending their own money before the fake cheque is caught.
“The problem with a cheque is, your bank has no way of knowing if it’s fraudulent until it goes through the cheque-clearing system,” Maura Drew-Lytle, director of media relations and communications for the Canadian Bankers Association, told Global News last year.
“It will send the cheque to the other bank, which has to determine that the account doesn’t exist or has insufficient funds and inform your bank — a process that can take days.”
Cheques are an agreement between people, not an individual and their bank, she said, and it’s up to individuals to try to get payment if the cheque bounces.
RCMP said in this case, the local newspaper was completely unaware that it was a scam and has since removed the ad, which was last published in March 2017. No arrests have been made.