An Oliver, B.C., woman has fallen victim to an online scam. Tracey Brown had just started a new job when she received an email from who she thought was her boss.
In the email, the person asked Brown to pick up $700 worth of Amazon gift cards “to reward some hard-working employees.”
“Being an older person, I was intimidated by the technology as it is then all of a sudden, I got an email from who I thought was my boss,” said Brown.
“I have been in positions before where I’ve been asked to use my own money to buy something and I have always been reimbursed, so I didn’t think it was an issue.”
Brown says the person on the other end of the email insisted she go right away, so she did. She purchased the gift cards and then was asked to scratch off the back and send pictures of the numbers.
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Later that same day, Brown received another email asking for an additional $700 worth of gift cards.
“I went back to London Drugs, then I thought this is getting too much. I said to the girl ‘why would someone tell me to scratch these off?’ And she said, ‘oh no you didn’t, that’s a scam,’” said Brown.
Brown has been in contact with her visa company, Amazon and the RCMP but says she will not be reimbursed.
“It was really embarrassing and, of course, I had puddles of tears coming out. I am a single woman with a mortgage and car payments, and I just got this new job, all excited. Now this happened and I am stuck with a $700 bill,” said Brown.
She hopes that speaking out will help prevent anyone else from going through what she did.
“Be aware. I thought I was safe work – if I would have received it on my personal email, I would have ignored it. But because it came from a specific name through my work email, I didn’t give it a second thought,” said Brown.
RCMP say online and phone scams have become very common and are warning people to be careful.
If you do suspect that you are being scammed, RCMP say to contact your local police and report any fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud centre.