RICHMOND RCMP say they receive multiple complaints of various scams throughout the year. During some periods, certain scams are more prevalent than others. In the past month, the following are some of the most popular ones they have encountered:
Text Message Scam – The victim is sent a text message to transfer funds to receive a windfall in return. After funds are transferred, nothing is received in return.
Pets for Sale Scam – The victim goes online to purchase a dog. The funds are sent, but not the dog.
Apartment Rental Scam – The victim transfers money for a deposit on an apartment rental and never receives the keys.
Currency Exchange Scam – Usually done over the popular messaging platform, WeChat, victims are contacted randomly and offered a favourable exchange rate on currency – usually Canadian to Chinese or vice versa.
Virtual Ransom Scam – Victims are contacted by phone and told they are being investigated for a crime and have to pay or face the authorities.
Grandparent Scam – Victim is contacted by someone pretending to be their grandson and stating that they have been arrested in a foreign country and need money for bail.
“The best information we can suggest is preventative. We sincerely wish to drive this point home. If you are unsure of something, ask for a second opinion. If a deal seems too good to be true, it is likely a scam. Try and do as much homework as you can about something you are planning to purchase or rent. Lastly, law enforcement or authorities will never ask for payment to avoid an investigation,” says Cpl. Dennis Hwang.
“Although victims of scams can be of any age, seniors are particularly vulnerable. The Richmond RCMP Crime Prevention Unit has an outreach program available for local seniors or community groups. Please contact our Crime Prevention Unit at 604-278-1212 to arrange for further information,” adds Hwang.