Fraudsters posing as police steal $6,000 from Victoria woman

Senior bilked for $6,000

Victoria police have issued a warning after a woman lost $6,000 to fraudsters claiming to be with the detachment.

Police said the woman contacted them Wednesday, saying she received a call from a toll-free number. An automated message said her social insurance number had been compromised and prompted her to press a button to speak with police.

That led her to a man who said he was with the RCMP, and that officers would not be going to her residence due to COVID-19.

He asked her about her local police department, and when he found out it was Victoria he transferred the call to someone claiming to be a Victoria police officer.

At that point, the victim was told to withdraw money from the bank and deposit it in a bitcoin machine that would transfer it to the federal government. She was then told that the government would confirm a new social insurance number for her and then return the money.

Police described the people involved in the fraud as “often both aggressive and convincing,” and said the Victoria department would never demand cash to resolve an incident and would not ask that funds be transferred through bitcoin.

If you receive a call like this, hang up, police said.

Should you respond to such a call and end up providing personal information or money, contact your financial institutions, ensure unauthorized payments are stopped and let them know about the fraud.

Fraud should also be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or antifraudcentre-centreantifraud.ca.

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