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Trail woman conned of $1,000 in puppy scam

Police: Monetary funds sent in the form of gift cards and are not recoverable

Police are cautioning locals about ongoing scams involving the sale of puppies after a Trail woman was defrauded of $1,000.

And it isn’t her first time.

Call it puppy love?

The afternoon of Dec. 30, the Trail RCMP received a report about a woman who, in a matter of months, fell victim for a second time to an online puppy scam. The woman said she sent $1,000 electronically to a website address as per request of the puppy seller who promised to deliver her a puppy afterwards. The woman realized that she was the victim of another fraud when she did not receive her promised puppy.

The monetary funds sent were in the form of gift cards and are not recoverable.

“I would like to remind everyone in the new year that you cannot recover money sent to someone electronically,” advises Sgt. Mike Wicentowich. “Once sent, consider it gone for good.”

To avoid falling victim to a puppy scam, Wicentowich asks the public to consider contacting nearby, well-known, reputable dog breeders, or think about adopting a pet from the local SPCA.

Importantly, he says money should be exchanged in-person when the puppy is physically received.

Lost skier

The afternoon of Dec. 29, a frontline Greater Trail RCMP officer received a report that a 20-year-old Thunder Bay man went missing while skiing out-of-bounds at Red Mountain Resort. His parents reported him missing to Red Mountain Ski Patrol when he failed to return from skiing at the end of the day. Ski patrol notified the RCMP and Search and Rescue who began assisting in the search.

Search teams were able to locate the missing man’s last known whereabouts on Gray Mountain by tracking his cell phone and air tag, and by using information obtained from the electronic ski gate records. The search was paused around 1 a.m. due to darkness. It was resumed again in the early morning hours.

Rescuers located the man in the morning, walking down the road around the 13-kilometre mark on Rossland-Cascade Highway. The man said he had made a shelter overnight before attempting to walk to safety. The man was not injured and returned to his parents.

“I would like to thank Red Mountain Resort and Rossland, Castlegar and South Columbia Search and Rescue for their quick and professional responses,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich began. “Please stay within marked boundaries and designated trails when you are skiing on any mountain resort. Skiing out-of-bounds and in the backcountry is ill-advised for the solo person who is unprepared and untrained.”

He reminds the public that hundreds of people are lost and injured Canada-wide, in backcountry every year.

Wicentowich says anyone travelling in the backcountry should complete a basic Avalanche Skills Training Level One and carry the proper backcountry safety gear.

“This number can be much lower if you take precautions before deciding to go off-trail,” he adds. “It is the up to the individual to make sure that they are prepared before stepping foot into the challenging backcountry terrain.”

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Sheri Regnier

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