4 Victoria residents lose thousands to scams in 1 week
The four scams were reported between Feb. 12 and Feb. 16.
VICTORIA -- Victoria police are reminding residents to be on guard after four people reported being victims of scams within the past week.
The first incident took place on Feb. 12, when a scammer convinced a victim that their computer had been infected with spam.
The fraudster was able to view some of the victim's banking information by instructing them to share their screen to fix the fraudulent "spam," and also convinced them to purchase $500 worth of Google Play cards, which were transferred to them.
The second incident occurred on Feb. 14. Through a series of phone calls, a scammer was able to persuade an elderly victim that they needed to wire transfer them money in order to access a line of credit.
The victim transferred $900 before they realized what was happening.
"In this sophisticated scam, the fraudster also compromised the senior’s personal information and bank accounts and would likely have attempted to steal more if the senior had not called police," said VicPD in a release Friday.
The third and fourth incidents both occurred on Feb. 16.
In one case, a victim was convinced that they had to wire transfer $1,400 to a scammer as part of a "tax" on money they had recently won.
The other case involved someone falling victim to a romance scam. The victim had met the scammer on a dating app, "Finally," and thought they had developed a genuine relationship with the person. Eventually, the scammer told the victim that they needed to borrow $2,700 to help cover funeral expenses after they had suffered a death in the family.
After the victim transferred the money, the individual broke all contact and deleted their profile on the dating app.
In total, $5,400 was lost to scammers over a five-day period in Victoria.
"Each of these files remains under investigation, but in most cases of international cybercrime and fraud, the victims’ losses will not be recovered," said Victoria police.
For tips on how to protect yourself from internet and phone scams, VicPD recommends reviewing its website here.
Anyone who is a victim of a scam or attempted fraud is asked to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report the incident online here.