Guelph police say a 62-year-old man lost $2,500 and then almost lost thousands more in a phone scam that involved someone posing as a member of the RCMP.
According to police, the man received a call on Friday from someone reporting that the Mounties were investigating a bank for counterfeit money and needed the man’s help.
“The male allowed the suspect remote access to his computer through a link,” said Const. Kyle Grant. “The suspect was then able to show the male a fictitious screenshot of $1,000 being deposited into the male’s account.”
Grant said the victim was then directed to purchase $2,500 worth of gift cards and provide the suspect with the codes on the cards, something real police would never do.
“A police service would never request you to send money or gift certificates or codes for gift certificates”
The victim then was then told to withdraw $8,800 from his bank account, place it in a magazine and then mail it to a fictitious RCMP lab for analysis, which he did according to police.
While on another trip to purchase more gift cards, the man was stopped by a store employee who advised him that it was likely a fraud.
The man was able to contact his bank to have his accounts frozen and stop the delivery of the $8,800 he sent, which has been returned to him. The victim then notified police.
The investigation is currently ongoing and so far no arrests have been made but Grant said this investigation should serve as a reminder to residents.
“These types of frauds and scams are routinely happening in our city, whether it’s over the phone like this or via email,” he said. “It’s unfortunately something that’s on the rise because as you see in this case, when it is effective, it is something that nets the suspect a significant amount of money.”
Anyone with information about the investigation can call Guelph police at 519-824-1212 ext. 7444. Anonymous tips can be left with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or through its website.