Thousands of dollars lost to scammers pretending to be North Okanagan RCMP officers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Thousands of dollars lost to scammers pretending to be North Okanagan RCMP officers

Scammers who posed as police officers seemed like they were phoning from RCMP detachments in Enderby and Armstrong by hacking the call display, and now at least two victims are out thousands of dollars.

Two people were tricked into buying gift cards and giving it to somebody pretending to be a cop, according to a media release from the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP.

One person is out $3,500 and the other lost $2,000. The phone number was “spoofed” in both cases to display a trusted number, RCMP said. Fake names, ranks and badge numbers were used by the fraudsters.

READ MORE: Surrey RCMP warn of escort services robbery scam

Consequently, the RCMP has issued a warning and are reminding the public that real police officers will never demand gift cards as payment. Furthermore, officers will never request to be paid by members of the public, and they will not try to solicit anyone’s financial information.

“If someone contacts you, identifies as a police officer, and asks for any of these things or threatens you in any way, end the call immediately," RCMP spokesperson Const. Chris Terleski said in the release.

"If the person keeps pressuring you or threatens you, it’s not legitimate and you are doing the right thing by hanging up."

The police are reminding the public that scammers can obtain basic information like birthdays or addresses to appear legitimate.

To prevent future scams, the RCMP is reminding the public that anyone receiving a call doesn’t truly know who is on the other end. Personal info should never be shared with unsolicited callers. And debt should not be paid in crypto currencies, prepaid credit cards or gift cards.

Fraudsters can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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