Clearwater RCMP are advising the public to be wary of who they trust during this challenging time, warning that scammers may see the B.C. wildfires as an opportunity to take advantage of.
“Often when bad things happen, scammers can and will take advantage of people and their good nature,” commented Sgt. Grant Simpson, the new NCO-in-charge of the Clearwater RCMP detachment.
Police have received reports from residents of individuals posing as fire marshals, police officers or other authorities.
The individuals state that they are checking in case an evacuation alert or order is issued and obtaining photos of the property. These individuals have been dressed in some form of uniform and/or high visibility vests and are door-knocking in various areas.
Only the RCMP or other clearly identifiable peace officer, park ranger or search and rescue volunteer will knock at your door when an actual alert or order is issued for your area. They will have a signed copy of that order to show and/or present to you.
“Residents approached about evacuation alerts by someone who does not appear to be a peace officer or has no official order to present, are asked to report the scammer to the police at 250-674-2237,” Simpson said.
Residents are asked not confront the person but rather let police investigate instead.
“If possible, try to obtain a description of the individual, the clothing they are wearing, and the license plate of any vehicle they may be associated with,” said the new detachment commander.