Police warn about resurging scams

Image Credit: Contributed

VERNON - If they weren't con artists, thieves and frauds, you might be impressed with their ingenuity but police in the North Okanagan are definitely not impressed.

Spokesperson Gord Molendyk says local RCMP detachments had more than 30 calls about two different scams operating by phone and email in the area. One is the Revenue Canada scam that looks like this: You get an email from Revenue Canada advising that the government owes you a bigger tax return. Just give them your banking information and it's yours. Of course, it's too good to be true — it's not Revenue Canada and the scammers will clean out your bank account for you. Revenue Canada does not do this over the phone. Go here for more information.

Anyone who receives a suspicious communication should immediately report it to info@antifraudcentre.ca or to the institution that the communication appears to be from, Molendyk says.

The other scam is a variation involving B.C. Hydro, only this time it's over the phone and they want to convince you that you owe money. They call saying your power will be cut off in 45 minutes if you do not send money.

A B.C. Hydro release says they can get pretty elaborate, even suggesting you purchase a cash gift card and relay the serial number on the back of the card.

The Crown corporation says that should raise a red flag — they just wouldn't take that kind of information over the phone and nor does it take cash gift cards. It also says account holders would get plenty of notice before they took extreme action of removing the service. 

While this warning was released in Vernon, both these scams are prevalent across the province and is worth noting everywhere. Just like the next scam will be.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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