Richmond RCMP warn of “false boss” scam

RICHMOND RCMP are warning the community of a scam involving “new” employees.

· A new employee is recruited or hired, but a face-to-face interview is never conducted.

· Once hired, one of the first tasks given to the new employee is to open a bank account on behalf of the employer.

· The employee is asked to be the intermediary in a currency exchange between their “boss” aka employer, and a client. The exchange involves the conversion of foreign currency, for example, RMB to Canadian currency.

· The client provides the currency for exchange at a favorable exchange rate. The employee initiates the deposit of currency on behalf of the client.

· The social media app WeChat is predominantly the preferred communication method between users in this scam.

· Once the client’s money has been deposited, it is withdrawn by the employer.

· The client does not receive any currency in exchange and their original deposit is gone.

· The employee is then viewed as the instigator or suspect by the client.

· This could lead to other potential unintended criminal consequences.

“Jeopardy is attached when using any type of social media app and is especially dangerous when an app is based in a foreign country and permits monetary transactions. To date, we have seen one instance of this type of scam. We anticipate other occurrences may be forthcoming with awareness of this type of scam,” said Cpl. Dennis Hwang on Thursday.

“We must re-iterate that variations of this can exist and may have occurred in other areas beyond Richmond,” added Hwang. “We strongly urge that anyone who believes that they may have been a victim of a similar scam to contact the Richmond RCMP or the police of their jurisdiction.”