Nary a day goes by without at least one local person calling the newspaper to talk about a scam telephone call he or she received. Tipsters are always very concerned that a vulnerable community member will be taken in by these nameless fraudsters on the other end of the line who, let’s face it, are on top of their game.
The latest police brief from the Trail RCMP includes a few warnings to the public about recent frauds, one wherein the person was almost bilked, and another that cost a local man $160.
– Dec. 4, the Trail detachment received an afternoon report about the suspected fraudulent sale of puppies in the immediate area. The complainant responded to a Facebook post in which a seller claimed to have adorable Husky puppies for sale. The seller requested $700 be sent to him/her through an electronic money transfer and told the complainant that she would have to pick up the puppy from a residence on Olauf Lane in Trail.
The astute complainant was aware that there is no Olauf Lane in the City of Trail.
The seller stopped communicating with her when she asked the seller to drop off the puppy at a local residence instead.
Fortunately, no money exchanged hands.
The Trail RCMP suspect there were no actual puppies for sale, and therefore the complainant avoided being victimized and defrauded out of her cash.
– Dec. 4, the Trail detachment received a 5 p.m. report of a possible fraud in which the victim was contacted by a suspected scammer who represented themselves as affiliated with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The victim was asked to pay an outstanding bill of $160 for ambulance services provided by BC Emergency Health Services. The victim, a Trail man in his 60s, had previously paid a similar bill, and was convinced to pay the amount again.
The Trail RCMP report the man may have been targeted in a scam and recommended some actions he should take to prevent further victimization.
Police remind the public that the CRA does not collect money for BC Emergency Health Services, nor do they collect over the phone. The Trail RCMP urge residents to take steps to verify the identity and legitimacy of the person that they are communicating with over the internet or phone.
Any funds delivered electronically cannot be recovered once sent due to the level of technological sophistication involved in these kinds of scams.