Scamsters target Montrose resident. File photo

Fraudsters strike again in Montrose

A Montrose resident was taken for thousands in a COVID-related scam

A sophisticated scam has bilked an unfortunate Montrose resident out of thousands of dollars.

The Trail RCMP are warning residents to be wary of fraudsters who call or email you, posing as government representatives, and offering you COVID-grant money.

RCMP responded to a call on Jan. 21 at about 2 p.m. by a local woman who reported that she had been defrauded out of a few thousand dollars.

The Montrose resident fell victim to two fraudsters who said they were federal government lawyers and that she had qualified for a grant if she paid a fee up front.

The victim sent two electronic transfers to the scammers in hopes of receiving the alleged future government grant support.

However, she grew suspicious when the fraudsters continued to contact her and ask for more money.

The victim contacted the Trail RCMP for advice, and realized that she had been scammed after speaking to a police officer.

The RCMP officer informed the victim that her money was not recoverable due to it being sent electronically, adding that government grant programs will never contact you at home or through email and demand money up front.

The public is encouraged to contact the RCMP to discuss any suspected fraudulent contacts before sending any money electronically to avoid financial loss.

Between Mar. 6, 2020 and Jan. 10, 2021 there have been 10,237 reports of COVID-19 related fraud in Canada, with 8,583 Canadians falling victim and taken for more than $7-M.

The public can find more information and ways to protect themselves from frauds by visiting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.