RCMP warn of new scam in the region

Local RCMP received two new scam reports this week, leading them to caution the public against giving out personal information via email.

Local RCMP received two new scam reports this week, leading them to caution the public against giving out personal information via email.

According to the release, Castlegar RCMP reported one gentleman had received a cheque for $3,950, asking him to be a “secret shopper” — he could cash the cheque, keep a portion for himself and mail the rest back to them. He confirmed the cheque was a fake with his bank.

The second scam saw the second individual receive an e-mail from “BMO Financial Group,” saying that they would deposit $200 into their account for taking part in their survey to help them monitor the bank system.

It went on to ask the individual to download an attached form and his enter bank account information.

According to the release, he man did not do so, as he was suspicious of the grammar and spelling mistakes in the “official” release and that an accredited institution would not ask for such sensitive information via e-mail.

Sergeant Laurel Mathews, with the Castlegar RCMP, confirmed with the Bank of Montreal that they would never e-mail customers with such a survey and they do not pay customers to take such “surveys.”

She added that she had personally received an e-mail from Shaw to her home address, again asking for private information. Again, it was confirmed by the company that that kind of information would never be requested via e-mail.

“They (the scams) are alarming if people fall for it and give away a lot of their money,” she continued.

“They’re always concerning because you know, I could send an e-mail from next door and make it look like it’s from Nigeria, so it’s concerning because they’re really super hard to track and there’s so many of them and now they’re accessing your e-mail.”

The “secret shopper” scam has been familiar to RCMP for quite some time but Mathews said the BMO one was something she hadn’t seen before. The institution is aware that someone is sending e-mails on their behalf.

“If it seems too good to be true, it is,” Mathews said. “Don’t cash cheques if you don’t know where they’re coming from and don’t provide your personal information and hit reply on your e-mail without confirming.”

To report a scam and to view the most current and common scams visit www.antifraudcentre.ca or call 1-888-495-8501.

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