The RCMP’s Federal Commercial Crime Section wants to remind you that out-of-the-blue offers of wealth are scams — even when the RCMP logo is attached.
A statement from the RCMP says a new mass-marketing fraud is currently underway that incorporates the RCMP logo. The latest letter uses the “E” Division Headquarters address of 657 West 37th Avenue, Vancouver. It is part of a typical ploy from fraudsters who use trusted logos and company names from banks, government agencies, and police to gain credibility.
In this instance, the letter includes a certificate that claims the RCMP is helping to “distribute” seized foreign money to lucky recipients like you. If you respond to the letter, you will be asked to send “fees” or “taxes” to claim your prize. Naturally, the prize does not exist; when you wire your money to the criminal, you will never see it again. Sadly, a victim of this crime recently reported a loss of $5,200.00 in this scam, and there is a strong possibility more victims have not yet spoken to police, the statement said.
“The E Division Federal Commercial Crime Section can assure you that the RCMP never distributes money in a lottery format. In fact, no agency in Canada distributes money in this way,” the statement said. “Beware of offers of sudden wealth or unexpected winnings where confidentiality is stressed. Criminals are hoping you will keep their pitch “confidential” so you do not discuss the matter with family, friends, or police.”
Another big tip for evaluating scams is to look for spelling mistakes, improper wording, or nonsensical sentences. Consider the attached example of this fraud: Legitimate agencies and businesses do not issue documents with basic English errors.
If you have a question about fraud or you have been victimized, call your RCMP detachment. For information on fraud generally, go to www.antifraudcentre.ca. If you have questions about the RCMP logo and the legalities around its use, contact Sgt. Larry Burden of the Intellectual Property Office at 613-993-1088.