Police in Nanaimo are warning the public about online scams after victims lost thousands of dollars in recent weeks.
According to Nanaimo RCMP, reports of frauds over the past two weeks included the grandson scam and one case where a victim had $8,000 stolen after calling a number provided in a pop-up ad.
A Nanaimo woman received a call July 22 from a man who said the woman’s son had been arrested for impaired driving and was in jail. The caller told her several thousand dollars were needed to secure his release on bail and instructed her to transfer $1,400 to a ScotiaBank account in Sudbury, Ont.
The woman contacted her bank, but was told it was a fraud and that they would not wire the money, so she used a money transfer business instead. The victim was unable to provide investigators with the account number to which she sent the money.
On July 27, a Nanaimo man was using his computer to research a problem with his printer when a pop-up ad appeared with a phone number to call for help. He called the number and during the conversation, he inadvertently granted remote access to his computer, which resulted in $8,000 being unlawfully taken from his online banking account.
Nanaimo RCMP warn that people should never allow remote access to a computer and shouldn’t respond to pop-up ads. Police advise against clicking links in e-mails from unknown senders. Police suggest people update the software on their computers to ensure they are virus-free and if in doubt, take it to a legitimate computer business.
Receiving a phone call from an unknown caller asking for money should be an indication of attempted fraud. Police suggest people ask for a call-back number, share the information with family or trusted friends, and Google search the number to find out if it is associated to a fraud.
For more information about frauds and scams, visit the Canadian Anti- Fraud Centre website at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.