A Kelowna woman in her 60s has been the victim of a scam to the tune of nearly $80,000 as part of a fake criminal fraud investigation.
She says she received unsolicited phone calls from a scammer acting as a member of her bank’s fraud department who said her banking information had been compromised.
The con-artists also were able to convince the woman they were working with the RCMP, and that she would be offered a cash reward for cooperating.
Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, Kelowna RCMP, said, “the victim downloaded software applications to her computer, which authorities believe allowed remote access to the woman’s computer and in turn her online banking information.”
After possibly accessing her banking information, the fraudsters told the woman to make $40,000 in withdrawals and buy almost $40,000 in Google Play gift cards.
She later discovered the money she was spending was from her own accounts and credit cards.
Two packages containing $40,000 cash were intercepted by the Federal Serious and Organized Crime section of the Surrey RCMP.
Those packages were sent from the woman to an address in the Lower Mainland, according to RCMP.
O’Donaghey says, “it’s important for the general public to know that the RCMP would never ask someone to cooperate in a police investigation in this manner.”
He adds that people should verify officers’ identities if they are talking to police on the phone.