(HURON COUNTY, ON) - A senior from Clinton is out $700 after she was duped yesterday by a smooth talking scammer posing as a bank investigator.
The victim in this matter reported she received a call yesterday morning from a scammer that identified himself as a bank investigator at one of Canada's big five banks. He advised the victim that her debit card and credit cards had been compromised. The scammer led the victim to also believe a teller from her bank and a local convenience store employee were in on the scam and that they were being investigated by the RCMP.
Her services were then requested to help the bank with their investigation by participating in a "sting" operation. She was given detailed instructions and was told she needed to purchase $700 worth of Google Play gift cards. The victim proceeded to purchase the gift cards and upon doing so she provided the authorization codes to the scammer. Afterwards the victim had a feeling something was amiss and may have been scammed.
At this point the victim contacted Huron OPP and reported the matter. Upon speaking with the victim police learned the scammer also asked the victim numerous questions in an attempt to get personal information from her. Questions such as her pets name, the names of her family members and the street she grew up on. Clearly a fishing attempt to get any information to help them crack her passwords, in particular, into her bank account.
Every year, thousands of Canadians fall victim to fraud, losing millions of dollars. Most don't think it could happen to them, but fraudsters use sophisticated ways to target people of all ages.
If you suspect that someone you know has fallen prey to a deceptive telemarketer, don't criticize them for being naïve. Encourage that person to share their concerns with you about unsolicited calls or any new business or charitable dealings. Assure them that it is not rude to hang up on suspicious calls. Keep in mind that criminal telemarketers are relentless in hounding people - some victims report receiving five or more calls a day, wearing down their resistance. And, once a person has succumbed to this ruthless fraud, their name and number will likely go on a "suckers list", which is sold from one crook to another.
The best way to fight these types of crimes is through awareness and education. Also review the Competition Bureau of Canada's Little Black Book of Scams to learn about the twelve most common scams affecting Canadians, how to protect yourself and what to do if you're a victim.