Nanaimo RCMP outline variety of unique recent scams as reports rise in past month

Nanaimo RCMP outline variety of unique recent scams as reports rise in past month

Nanaimo RCMP is cautioning members of the public after a high volume of scams, with fraudsters using “all tricks of the trade,” were reported over the last month.

RCMP has outlined a variety of unique scams, reported during this recent tax season, in an effort to alert the public of the possible techniques that fraudsters are utilizing in an effort to steal money.

The following were all recently reported to Nanaimo RCMP:

Bitcoin scam

RCMP says that police received a report on May 1, 2021, from a supervisor of a local international fast food restaurant.

According to police, the caller said he had received a phone call from their head office indicating their restaurant was required to purchase a machine for their business and, if the machine was not purchased, a health inspector would be forced to close their franchise.

The victim was told he had to pay $1,100 with payment required in bitcoins, however, once the money was sent, the machine was never delivered.

Email scam

On April 30, 2021, police say that a local woman received an email from a known friend requesting that she purchase a $100 Amazon gift card on her behalf, then forward it as a gift to an unknown email address at [email protected].

After complying, the victim learned that her friend’s email account had been hacked.

READ MORE: Man arrested after threatening two pedestrians with knife: Victoria Police

Grandson scam

A day prior to the e-mail scam, on April 29, police say a Nanaimo resident received a phone call from a man claiming to be a lawyer representing his grandson.

The fraudster on the phone told the Nanaimo man, as part of one of these scams, that his grandson had been in a car accident and that he was in jail. The scammer told the man to send $6,000 immediately.

The victim was provided with a bank account at two local chartered banks and $3,000 was needed to be transferred to each account.

Computer fraud

On April 8, 2021, a local woman informed police about being scammed for $4,500 after receiving an alert on her computer advising her to call 1-626-610-7428.

She called the number and was told that someone was buying pornography on her computer and that she was being hacked. In order to prevent it, she needed to purchase Google cards.

Police say the victim was told if anyone asked what the cards were needed for, she was to say that they were for her grandchildren and that they were very important.

The victim, who was in her late 70s, spent most of the day driving around buying the cards. Once they were purchased, she called the number back and provided the ten-digit code on the back of each card.

The phone number provided was later determined to be a digital text line with no means of determining where it originated.

Fake gold scam

At the beginning of last month, on April 3, RCMP received a report from a local resident working at a hotdog stand in north Nanaimo, who was the victim of one of these scams.

The man was approached by a couple asking for money as a result of them losing their wallet. The couple were well dressed and had two small children in their relatively new vehicle.

The couple gave the victim several pieces of gold jewelry and told him that they would phone in a couple of days to confirm repayment of the money that was lent to them.

The victim later found out that the address they provided was fake and the phone number given was incomplete.

The vendor told police that the female was approximately 6 ft. tall, dressed in black and was wearing a red and white headscarf.

The man was 5’8″, stocky and was wearing a grey suit. He also, very quickly, flashed a piece of ID from Ontario, according to police.


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