Despite countless warnings from police in the news media some Revelstokians continue to fall prey to telemarketing and Internet fraud scams.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Jacquie Olsen issued the following news release that should stand as a warning to everyone in the community:
On November 27 police were advised by a concerned friend that they felt an older couple in town was the target of a telemarketing fraud scam.
Upon police enquiries it was learned that the couple had been approached and advised that they had apparently won a $4.5 million lottery in Jamaica. They only needed to forward money in order to pay the taxes and clear customs. An unknown amount of money was forwarded. Due to this friend and the police involvement, a portion of the money transfer was stopped and recovered.
This is not the only fraud scheme that the police have been advised of that a local Revelstokian had fallen victim to. Once again a friend notified police that a family was being defrauded. Police intervention was attempted but the family was convinced that it was real and continued to forward money. It is unknown how much money this family lost, but it was substantial.
These frauds have continued from the days of the “snake oil salesman”, they are slick and they are persistent, but it is all lies to try and get your money. The modern era with phones and computers has made it possible and easy for them to reach places like Revelstoke. One of the worst aspects of this type of crime is that once they realize that they have been defrauded, the victims feel like they
are stupid for being taken and do not tell anyone. Because of the international nature of this type of crime, prosecution is very difficult which allows them to continue the scams.
Remember the old adage, if it is to good to be true.! People will lie to get what you have, it does not matter how nice and personable they are with you on the phone or at the door. If you did not buy a ticket or legitimately enter a contest, then you can not win, if you do not have family in say South Africa, then they did not leave you an inheritance, just because they think you need a new roof, does not mean you do.
Do not think that you cannot be fooled, schemers would not be in business if they did not find victims. To protect yourself you need to educate yourself on how these schemers work, preferably before they come to your home. If you receive any messages do not be pressured by “urgent” time frames, take the time to research it, talk to and seek the advise of family and friends and if you are still in doubt on determining the validity of the request, please feel free to contact the police, or go to www.phonebusters.com, or www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes for more information.