Crocuses aren’t the only things popping up with this milder Spring weather. Phone scams are making a comeback, too, and all too often they target our senior citizens. Scam and fraud investigations can be challenging because of the global nature of communication, so prevention is always best. Here are some variations on a common scam that’s making the rounds in Regina right now:
Scam: The “Dishonest Bank Employee:
A scammer calls you, pretending to be from your bank, asking for your help to catch a bank employee who has been stealing money. To “help” you are instructed to go to your bank and make a cash withdrawal from your account. The scammer tells you not to let the bank teller know what you’re doing because the teller might be involved. After the withdrawal the scammer tells you to deposit the money into a different account for which they’ve provided information, or they advise you to purchase bitcoin and provide a wallet identification.
Variation: Unauthorized Charges or Compromised Account
In a variation of this scam, the scammer claims to be from your bank or a major credit card provider. They say there are unauthorized charges on your account or your account is compromised. In some cases, the scammer demands that you provide your credit card information. The scammer will tell you to send money for reimbursement fees or as “bait money” to help catch a bad “employee”.
Variation: Tech Support
A scammer claims a virus has infected your computer. The communication might happen through:
- Alarming website pop-ups that demand you call a number urgently; or
- Unsolicited telephone calls (they may claim to be a Microsoft or other well-known computer company employee).
The scammer states that your computer is sending out viruses or has been hacked and must be serviced. They request access to your computer and may run programs or alter settings. The scammer then asks you to pay a fee for fixing your computer via credit card or money transfer. In some cases, the scammer asks you to log into your bank account to transfer funds
Most often elderly persons are targets of these types of scams. Take the time to educate yourself and others within your circle of family and friends to ensure this doesn’t happen to you or someone you care about. If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other, please call the Regina Police Service at 306-777-6500 and you will be directed as to how best to make your report.