An Oak Bay resident lost nearly $15,000 in what police are calling a credit card scam.
The scam occurred in mid-July, though police did not receive a report of the incident until July 24.
The resident told Oak Bay police they had been contacted by someone claiming to work from Visa saying there were unauthorized charges on their credit card.
The caller, a woman pretending to be a “representative” for Visa, asked the victim for the last four digits of their credit card.
“They were then transferred to the fraud department where the victim was asked to assist the ‘fraud department’ with an ‘internal fraud investigation,’” said Oak Bay police in a release Monday.
“After a very practiced and believable story was delivered to the victim, they agreed to assist with the ‘investigation,’” police said.
The victim was then convinced to withdraw $5,000 from their bank account and deposit it into a Bitcoin machine, according to Oak Bay police.
After the first withdrawal, the victim was duped into withdrawing and depositing another $7,000 into a Bitcoin machine.
The next day, the victim was contacted by the scammers again and withdrew another $5,000. After depositing $2,700 of this third haul, the victim “encountered some issues depositing the remainder of the money,” police said.
“The victim was coerced to attend their bank and withdraw an additional $5,000,” police said. “While at their bank, a teller noticed their recent banking activity and alerted the victim they were likely being scammed.”
Police say the victim lost a total of $14,700 and that the incident is still under investigation.
Oak Bay police are reminding residents that financial institutions – such as credit card companies and BC Hydro – will never ask for payments through gift cards, Bitcoin, or other similar methods.
Police are also warning community members of another fraud incident in Oak Bay last week.
On Sunday, a resident told police that he bought $400 worth of fake gold jewelry from a man in a white SUV.
Shortly after the purchase, the victim realized the four pieces of jewelry he bought were not in fact gold, but when he went back to where he met the seller along Oak Bay Avenue, the man was no longer there.
The man is described as having a darker complexion with a slender build between the ages of 30 and 40. He stood approximately 6’ tall.
The victim told police that there were children in the vehicle at the time of the sale.