The RCMP is warning the public after two people were recently defrauded of over $34,000 in southwestern Manitoba.
Police say there were two separate instances and both occurred over the phone.
In one instance, a person received a call from someone who was claiming to work for the Canada Border Services Agency.
The caller told the person they had intercepted a package that was addressed to them that contained drugs, money and fraudulent documents.
Police say the person had recently made some online purchases and was waiting on a delivery, which made the call both believable and concerning.
Additional calls were then made to them from someone impersonating a police officer and another call from someone who claimed to be from the Canada Revenue Agency.
The victim was told to send money to settle the issue and once the victim did, they continued to call and request more money, at which point the victim realized it was a scam and reported it to police.
In the second instance, someone else got a call from someone impersonating a police officer, claiming that one of their family members had been involved in a collision and was now at the police station.
The caller then requested money from the person in order to release their family member from police custody. After the money was sent, the victim continued to get calls about other family members, at which point they reported it as a scam.
RCMP want the public to be aware that no police agency or other government agency will request you send monetary payments to them by way of mail, wire transfers, cryptocurrency or QR codes. This is a scam, and the callers usually use pressure tactics and threaten the victim if they don’t pay.
The RCMP released the following list of tips to help you avoid falling victim to a scam:
- No information should ever be given to a person over the phone until you are satisfied they are who they say they are. Look up the phone number to the police agency/government agency they say they are calling from and confirm it by calling there yourself.
- A real police officer would not ask to have money sent on behalf of your relative/friend.
- Ask for help from a member of your family or a trustworthy friend if you are unsure about a call or request received requiring payment.
- Verify the identities or whereabouts of the caller.
- Don’t feel pressured and do not send money before doing your own investigation.
- Don’t disclose personal financial information.
RCMP say if you receive suspicious telephone calls requesting money, please hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or through their online reporting tool. If you have been a victim of fraud and have lost money, please report it to your local police.