The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.

Don’t let scammers prey on your vulnerability

The global pandemic has made everyone anxious and that can open the door for scammers.

The Clearwater RCMP are asking residents to be careful about scams through any form, including phone, text, email and even social media, and say they are experiencing an increased number of reports about the deceiving interactions.

There are many scams out there, maybe most notably a scam from a robo-caller who claims to be calling from Canada Revenue Agency, saying you owe them money. It’s been around for a while, but these callers can mask their real numbers, showing a call from a seemingly normal or familiar-looking number.

Never give anyone your social insurance number over the phone or any media, like Facebook or Twitter. The RCMP also want to remind social media users to be vigilant about their information as scammers can obtain data, such as your name and the name of family members who live elsewhere, through the social media outlets.

Sometimes the information gathered can be used to call or reach out to you telling you that a family member is in the hospital or is in jail and requires an e-transfer of funds to remedy the situation. That lie may feel legitimized when a scammer provides the name of a loved one. When in doubt, hang up and contact the person in question.

The Government of Canada’s anti-fraud centre website contains information about how to report fraud, a list of scams and how to protect yourself. You can access the page here.

The Clearwater RCMP advises those that are not tech-savvy, such as the elderly, to reach out to a family member for assistance using the internet.

When in doubt, contact your local RCMP detachment for advice. To contact the Clearwater RCMP, call 250-674-2237.

Scammers will also use something currently in the news, like COVID-19, to confuse you.

An example from Crime Watch Canada asks you to watch out for phone calls like this:

Scammer: “Good morning. According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that you now need to self-isolate for seven days and take a COVID-19 test.” (If you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive, the BC CDC says to self-isolate for 14 days if you don’t have symptoms, and to get tested if you do.)

Callee: “Okay. Can you tell me who that person was?”

Scammer: “I’m not able to tell you that. That is confidential information, but you do need to be tested within the next 72 hours. So can I just get the best mailing address so that we can send a kit to you?” (Currently, the Health Canada has only authorized tests to be administered by health-care professionals or trained operators. Self-testing has not been approved, but Health Canada said it is open to reviewing all testing solutions.)

Callee: “Okay. (Gives address.)”

Scammer: “Thank you. I just need to take a payment card so that we can finalize this and send the kit to you.”

Callee: “Sorry, a payment card? I thought this was all free?”

Scammer: “No, I’m afraid not. There is a one-time fee of $50 for the kit and test results. Could you read off the long card number for me, please, when you’re ready.” (The test for COVID-19 falls under MSP, unless it is an asymptomatic test that falls outside of B.C. public health recommedations such as travel or employment.)

Callee: “No. That’s not right.”

Scammer: “I’m afraid it is. Can you give me the card number please. This is very important and there are penalties for not complying.”

This is how scammers work. They prey on the vulnerable, who often fall for it. If it seems wrong, it probably is. It is always okay to hang up and call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, or your local RCMP detachment.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

The TNRD is undertaking a Master Trails Plan for the community of Blue River. (Darcy Lawrey / Pexels Photo)
TNRD to develop trails plan for Blue River

A survey is available for public input on the TNRD website.

From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mckenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)
District of Clearwater council approves tax rate increases for 2021

The 2021 tax rate bylaw will see adoption May 6.

Ian and Roger Nadeau are shown in front of one of their Thompson Valley Charters coaches. (TVC photo)
Hwy 5 Kamloops to Edmonton bus run delayed until May 20

Thompson Valley Charters delays start of new route to abide by BC Health travel advisory

A vial of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The White House says it is making plans to share up to 60 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 11,075 since the pandemic began

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read