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Old scams resurface in the Okanagan

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August 15, 2014 - 11:45 AM

KELOWNA – Kelowna RCMP are warning residents to use caution and common sense when dealing with unusual requests after variations of three common scams have been reported across the valley.

Kelowna RCMP have received reports of a variation of the Cheque Overpayment Fraud, which targets potential host families of international students. According to Const. Jesse O’Donaghey, the fraudster will contact a family and ask them to host their son or daughter before sending the victim a cheque for more money than is needed. The victim is then asked to return the difference before they find out the cheque has bounced.

RCMP recommend you never accept a cheque for more than is asked and do not agree to wire funds to someone you do not know.

“Resist pressure to act now,” O’Donaghey says in a release. “If the buyer’s offer is good now, it should be good when the cheque clears.”

RCMP also recommend you contact a bank to see if the cheque is legitimate before agreeing to any further financial transactions.

Kelowna RCMP have also received complaints of variations of the Emergency or Grandparent Scam, which typically targets the elderly.

“The fraud artist will often call from a private phone number and claim to be a grandchild, a niece or a nephew and ask for the victim to wire money to them,” says O’Donaghey. “The fraud artist will usually state that they are in jail or have been in a crash and require money for legal fees or their release. Often victims don’t verify the information until after the money has been sent.”

Another scam that has been reported lately involves a man in his 40’s who goes door-to-door asking for $30-$40 cash to pay for a tow truck.

“Typically, the suspect male claims to be a neighbour, that he has broken his key trying to get into his vehicle and is short an amount of money to pay for a tow truck,” O’Donaghey says. “The man promises to return the cash, however never returns.”

Anyone who suspects they are being scammed or has been the victim of a scam can contact Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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