We've all heard of credit card fraud where thieves target your cash, but in the latest scam they're going after something they hope you won't notice: your points.
According to a service representative at the Royal Bank of Canada this is a fairly new phenomenon that they have seen becoming a trend over the past few months.
He says in most cases they gain access to pertinent account details by either hacking your computer or by stealing your mail.
Once they have that information they can attempt to access your points and transfer them to their email address.
Over the weekend an Okanagan business had over 600,000 Royal Bank points transferred out of their account. The points were sent to to this email account: [email protected]
RBC says, just like they keep track of your monetary transactions, they also try to keep an eye out for unusual movement of your points. They track suspicious emails and block them, but in many cases those perpetrating the fraud will simply set up new email addresses.
In terms of protecting yourself, you are best to update your passwords regularly and try not to leave any hard copies of credit card statements lying around.
Has anyone tried to steal your credit card points? Let us know at [email protected]
Don't be surprised if you see smoke billowing from Stephens Coyote Ridge Regional Park.
The Regional District of the South Okanagan says they are doing a controlled burn in the park on Sunday.
Open burning is also allowed Sunday across the Central Okanagan for property owners with permits from their fire authority.
All fire authorities have been advised that this burning is taking place.
Further debris pile burning will be required as conditions warrant as part of the fuel modification work underway in this, and several other, regional parks.
They have put in countless hours of practice and now a group of Okanagan cheerleaders is heading to south of the border to see how they stack up against the best in the US.
The Okanagan Firestorm All-star Cheerleading program is sending their junior and senior teams to compete at Nationals in San Diego, California at the end of March.
Co-head coach, Pete Parrotta says this is a first for a cheerleading squad from the Okanagan and they are excited to be taking 49 girls to the international competition.
“Now that we have the talent to be able to do it, because all the girls have been working really hard, we decided to jump in and see how we place, how we measure up against the teams in the US, because all the top teams in the US are going to be there.”
Only three teams from Canada will be making the trip to San Diego, adds Parrotta.
“We’re the only one from BC, so we will be representing BC, and obviously the Okanagan, which we’re really excited about.”
The competition takes place March 29 and 30.
The scissors are coming out Saturday, as four local residents chop off their hair to donate to Wigs for Kids BC.
four Kelowna-residents, Justin Skladan, Michael van Kesteren, Anna Nicole Ripley and Alayna Nicol will be donating a combined 36 inches of hair to be made into custom wigs for children suffering from hair loss due to cancer or other serious illnesses.
Thus far, the four friends have raised over $3000 in donations for the Wigs for Kids BC program, part of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation (BCCHF).
Team-member Alayna Nicol notes, “I received a call from our community coordinator at BCCHF last week saying how excited she was with our fundraising total. We are all so grateful for the community support and donations that have been streaming in. All four of us hair donors are passionate about giving back to children in need at the BC Children’s Hospital.”
Hair is a great place to start, but the monetary donations are also needed to make the custom wigs and support the Wigs for Kids program and BCCHF.
To support their fundraising efforts, the team has established a fundraising page, “Wigs for Kids BC – Kelowna” through the BCCHF, and have a set up a Facebook page to drum up support.
The big hair chop will be taking place in the Loose Moose Lounge at Big White Ski Resort on Saturday, March 15 at 9 p.m. as part of the 7th Annual Cellar-Tek Winemaker’s Cup.
Kelowna-Lake Country MP, Ron Cannan and federal International Trade Minister, Ed Fast were in Kelowna Friday extolling the virtues of the recently signed free trade agreement between Canada and South Korea.
Friday's media event and photo op was held at Summerhill Estate Winery - a company and business expected to be one of the big beneficiaries of the free trade deal.
Summerhill CEO, Ezra Cipes, calls this a great opportunity for the Okanagan wine industry.
"We are really just in our infancy as an industry. The wine industry is international and we compete internationally," says Cipes.
"We really do have an opportunity with ice wine especially to distinguish ourselves as the best in the world. What this trade agreement does is it puts us on a level playing field with other wine producing regions that have similar agreements with Korea."
Once the agreement becomes official in about a year Cipes says it will immediately eliminate trade tariffs on ice wine, tariffs which run as much as 15 per cent.
"It will make us much more competitive and much more friendly to do business with with potential partners in Korea."
According to Cipes South Korea is one of the fastest growing countries in terms of wine consumption in the world.
Cannan told those in attendance that the agreement will also benefit the soft fruit industry, specifically cherries and blueberries and provide agri-food opportunities as well.
David Geen with the BC Cherry Growers Association says the new agreement allows for frozen cherries to be sent to the Korean market (blueberries are included as well).
Geen expects fresh fruit to be included within about three years.
Fast, who is also the MP for Abbotsford, says, while the agreement is good for Canada it is especially good for BC.
"Fifty per cent of all exports that come out of Canada into Korea actually come from or through British Columbia. That's how important Korea is to our economy," says Fast.
"Over $2B worth of exports a year."
Fast says tariffs won't be eliminated completely, says some will be phased out over a three to seven year period.
"You need to position yourselves and if you are representing industry associations you need to position your members now to take advantage of those opportunities," says Fast.
"Find those strategic partners and alliances in those new markets. Get our products to market."
He says the private sector needs to step up and 'hit a home run - hit it out of the park.'
Despite the warm weather sports fields within the City of Kelowna remain closed.
Residents and sport teams are asked to respect all field closure signs.
The grass needs to be actively growing and the fields need to dry out before the upcoming spring and summer seasons to ensure the best quality turf for recreational use.
For those itching to get out there, there are four practice fields open for use:
- Walrod Park
- Johnson Park
- The practice area at Mission Recreation Park (area with the goal net off Gordon Dr. at Lexington Dr.)
- The practice field at Parkinson Recreation Park.
Teams still need to book the space through the City. In addition, the artificial turf sports field at Mission Recreation Park is open.
City sports fields are scheduled to reopen April 7.
Two-year-old Mica has been found safe and sound.
With the help of Animal Control and the public the golden doodle was retrieved and brought back to the Kelowna SPCA shelter.
The SPCA would like to thank everyone who called in with tips and helped with the search.
The Kelowna SPCA is asking residents to be on the lookout for one of the dogs seized earlier this year from a rural property in Clearwater.
A two-year-old golden retriever poodle cross escaped from its collar during a walk this morning and was last seen headed north on Glenmore Road towards Spall.
This female dog is extremely skittish and should not be approached.
If anyone sees the dog, they are asked to immediately call in the animal’s location to the Kelowna SPCA.
Emergency crews are on the scene of an accident involving a city bus and a small car.
Witnesses report a red vehicle collided with the back of a city bus on Hwy. 33 near Davie Rd., Friday morning.
The impact caused the air bag on the vehicle to be deployed, people passing by attended to the driver until emergency crews arrived.
Police say the bus was stopped when the car crashed into rear of the bus at full speed. The 40-year-old driver of the car was knocked unconscious and has been taken to hospital with what is being called non life-threatening injuries.
"At this point in time we don’t have a cause as to what happened, it’s obviously driver inattention," says Scott Falkingham, with the Kelowna RCMP.
“It looks like he didn’t even attempt to brake, he just drove into the back of the bus.
It is unknown how many passengers were on the bus, but no injuries were reported. Some witnesses said the bus was on fire, but authorities have confirmed that was not the case, instead stating that leaking coolant had caused the smoke.
Highway 33 is down to one lane heading east, but is not affecting motorists traveling west.
Send photos and video to [email protected]
Security and functionality are the key features to the new Queensway Transit Hub set for construction later this summer.
The $5.4M transit upgrade will encompass two blocks along Queensway from Ellis to Water streets.
The city is picking up just $700,000 of the project cost, the federal government less than $100,000 with BC Transit paying for the rest.
The current Queensway transit loop was constructed about 15 years ago and at an open house to explain the project to the public, Regional Services Director, Ron Westlake, says its time to make improvements to the exchange.
"The comfort of the people on the island that are transfering...we're going to provide a shelter across the island so people have continuous shade through the summer and protection from snow, ice and rain," says Westlake.
"This particular shelter gave us the opportunity to look at it as a significant feature. We have outfitted the entire under side of the shelter with glue-laminated beams and wood panelling which will be featured with under lighting."
Westlake says there will be more lighting outside the shelter to provide more security.
"We are paying particular attention to security everywhere downtown. We have to be conscious of that so we have designed it with sight lines so we can see through things," says Westlake.
"That's why there are no walls. It's all open so people can transfer between the buses but we can also see across the whole island."
One of the big complaints of the current design was lack of protection from the wind. Westlake says a wind barrier will be built as part of the the shelter.
A security office will also be constructed across from the transit hub next to the Kelowna Museum.
The building will allow security personnel to see the entire length of the transit hub all the way to Water Street.
"In the case of this exchange there is an element that has to be watched out for - vandalism and that sort of thing. We have had security there for a number of years and we think we have a handle on it and have made it a lot safer..
We need to make the appearance very attractive and to make people comfortable and not relying purely on the security guards."
That particular building is not expected to be completed until after the transit hub itself is finished.
Westlake says the second part of the project involves a re-design of Queensway between Pandosy and Water streets.
"We are really excited about this block because we are reconfiguring the whole block. We are putting in two RapidBus stations on the north side that carries into the lawn at City Hall and moving all of the parking to the other side of the street," says Westlake.
"The other key part for this block is we are building a roundabout at the intersection of Queensway and Water Street. That is going to slow down the traffic that is going down Water Street as well as allow these buses and other vehicles to easily access out onto Water Street safer."
Westlake says a traffic light was also contemplated at that intersection but was dismissed partly because of its close proximity to the light at Water and Bernard.
Several hundred people stopped by to look at the plans during Thursday's open house.
Westlake says a majority of those seemed supportive of the new design and especially the shelter feature on the exchange island and the open concept it provides.
Construction is expected to begin in June, once the Bernard Avenue project is finished, with completion by the Labour Day long weekend.
4:30 p.m. update:
No one was injured after a fire in Rutland Thursday afternoon, but there is extensive damage to the home on McKenzie Rd.
According to Fire Chief Dale Calhoun the fire started in the basement.
"It started in around the hobby area and that has a bunch batteries in there, so we are kind of figuring that is what started the fire. Some batteries that were charging in there."
Calhoun says there is extensive damage downstairs as well as smoke damage all throughout the house.
A mother and her son, who are in town visiting her elderly father, were home at the time of the blaze.
They were alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm going off.
"We just heard the alarm go off and my dad has alarms all over the house so we figured he was maybe testing." explained Tammie O'Rielly. "I went out, and I went down into his workshop and he builds radio controlled aircraft and there were flames everywhere."
According to her son some frantic moments followed.
"At the time I was just working on my computer when I heard the fire alarm going off and I wasn’t totally sure what was happening. My mum was downstairs in her bedroom and then she went to check...my grandpa works on radio controlled airplanes as a hobby... and I guess that room was just flames so she was screaming at me to call 9-1-1 and get myself and the dogs out of the house which I did."
The mother was treated on scene for smoke inhalation.
The grandfather, who owns the home, was not at home when the fire broke out.
3:30 p.m.: Fire crews were called to a house fire in the 800 block of McKenzie Rd. Thursday afternoon.
The fire was reported around 3 p.m., responding crews reported a lot of smoke coming from the home, but they were quickly able to get the fire under control.
Our reporter at the scene says one woman was being looked at by BC Ambulance for possibly smoke inhalation.
More details to come.
- With files form Ragnar Haagen
Read more Kelowna News
- House fire in Lake CountyCentral Okanagan - 3:15 pm
- Highway closures: 1 & 3BC - 10:16 am
- Salmon Arm in Hockeyville final fourVernon / N. Okanagan - 9:26 am
- Controlled burning in regional parkKelowna - 10:30 am
Kelowna Discussion Forum
Kelowna's Cultural District
Kelowna Road Closures
William R. Bennett Bridge
Tourism Kelowna Central Okanagan
District of Peachland
District of Lake Country
School District 23
Okanagan Regional Library