Every year, residents in our community fall victim to fraud. Most people don’t think it could happen to
them, but fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated methods to target citizens of all ages. March is
Fraud Prevention Month and the Surrey RCMP is taking this opportunity to inform citizens about some
recent fraud schemes and what they can do to avoid becoming victims.
Over the past few months police in multiple jurisdictions have received complaints from
residents who say they were phoned by someone pretending to be a police officer in
order to obtain personal information from them. While there are various versions of this
fraud, most involve callers asking for payment for outstanding fines or minor offences.
Police remind citizens that they do not ask for financial information and do not accept
payment for infractions over the phone. If you receive such a call, ask for the alleged
officer’s name and badge number, and then call that police agency back for verification.
Other impersonation frauds: Canada Revenue Agency, grandma/grandpa
As more and more citizens choose to communicate online, police have seen an
increase in the proliferation of illegal activities online. A recent scam that has surfaced
involves victims in chat rooms being tricked into sending explicit photos of themselves
to the person they are chatting with online. After gaining the victim’s trust, the scammer
threatens to post the photos to the victim’s social media accounts unless payment is
received. Police are concerned that young people could fall victim to this scam and are
advising parents to speak with their children about internet safety and what they share
Other online frauds: computer virus, scareware/ransomware,
Many people are using online job searches to find employment and this has
unfortunately created opportunities for victimization. A recent scheme has seen job
seekers being duped by online ads with phony job offers that involve contracts with
certain businesses. The victim is then asked to make a payment to “secure” the
contract, or they are used as an unsuspecting pawn in a larger scheme targeting
additional victims. Be cautious when responding to online ads and check the company’s
legitimacy with agencies like the Better Business Bureau.
Other employment frauds: Craigslist, business fraud
These are just a few examples of recent frauds being perpetrated by tech-savvy
criminals. To learn more about current trends in fraud and identity theft please attend
the Surrey RCMP’s Fraud Awareness Forum on Wednesday, March 12th 7-9pm at the
Cloverdale Recreation Centre (6188 176th Street, Room 202).
For further information on fraud prevention, please visit the BC RCMP’s website. If you
believe you have been the victim of fraud please contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-
0502 or the local police in your area.