Elaborate phone fraud scams Kelowna resident out of $4,800 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Elaborate phone fraud scams Kelowna resident out of $4,800

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A Kelowna resident has been scammed out of almost $4,800 in an elaborate scheme and police are warning others to be wary.

Back on June 26, the Kelowna resident received a text message from an online retailer alerting them that they had several open accounts and were being investigated for fraud, according to an RCMP media release issued today, July 5. The victim then received a phone call in which the fraudster posed as a security agent for the company to assist the resident.

"The victim was instructed to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Unit to resolve the issue and was automatically transferred to another individual over the phone posing as an employee with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Unit," the release read.

"In order to resolve the issue, the victim was directed to immediately withdrawal $4,800 in cash and deposit it into a 'verification machine' which also happened to be a bitcoin terminal."

The person became suspicious and said they were going to phone the police to verify the accusations and the fake employee hung up. Then they got a call spoofing the Kelowna RCMP's non-emergency number.

The person impersonating a police officer gave them a face name and badge number and convinced them to make the deposit or a warrant would be issued for their arrest, RCMP said. The victim complied.

The victim later called the RCMP and was informed they'd been scammed and that there was no officer by that name or badge number and their money was lost.

“Fraud is one of our Crime Severity Index (CSI) drivers and it’s our responsibility to educate and help our community recognize the signs,” Kelowna RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Michael Gauthier said.

“Anyone being directed to withdrawal and deposit money into a bitcoin terminal, purchase iTunes gift cards or any other similar type of currency, should immediately assume this is a fraud and contact the RCMP themselves to verify.”

For more information of the most recent scams and frauds check out the real Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website here.

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