Police in B.C.’s Southern Interior are warning local residents to be wary of social media scams following a spike in fraud-related crime over the past month.
According to police, the scammers contact their victims through a fake Facebook profile, pretending to be a relative. They create the fake account by pilfering online photos and information.
In one recent example, Keremeos RCMP say one fraudster was able to convince a victim to give enough information to apply for a fake grant. The perpetrator claimed the grant could give them more than $50,000.
In other cases, the fraudster is successful in getting the victim to send money, via an e-transfer, to process the grant application.
RCMP say the money loss doesn’t stop there — the fraudster is able to convince the victim to send more money by pretending other expenses are coming up in the application.
“It’s important for the public to understand that no government agency will ever contact them via social media to complete applications, or to verify private information,” said RCMP Const. James Grandy.
“If one is contacted by someone on social media claiming to be a close friend or relative, they should use other means to confirm the authenticity.”
For more information on social media scams, click here.