Fake cops arrest, scam woman

Scammers in Vancouver have stepped up their game to frightening levels, after $6,000 was stolen from a woman by two men posing as police officers.

On Wednesday afternoon, a 58-year-old Vancouver woman received a call from someone claiming to be from the CRA, who then transferred to her to someone claiming to be an RCMP officer.

During the conversation, the woman provided her location.

While the CRA scam has been making the rounds for a year or more, this case took a terrifying turn when two men showed up to the woman's location, wearing what appeared to be police uniforms.

They were wearing short-sleeved police-style shirts and blue pants with a yellow strip down the sides. Both were wearing police belts with what appeared to be firearms.

The fake police handcuffed the woman and put her in the back seat of an “older-model sedan,” and took her to a bank near Cambie Street and West King Edward Avenue, where she withdrew $6,000. She was then driven to a Bitcoin machine in Surrey to deposit the funds.

After the transaction was completed, the two men left without the woman.

“This incident has taken the CRA scam to a new level. Taking physical control of someone like this can be considered kidnapping,” said Const. Jason Doucette of the Vancouver Police. “We are reminding people to hang up on anyone claiming to be from the CRA. If you want to double check, call the agency at a publicly available number.”

Doucette says the CRA will never threaten people with arrest, send police to collect funds, or accept Bitcoin or gift cards as payment.

The first of the two fake police officers has been described as a 5-foot-11 Caucasian man in his 30s with an average build, light brown hair and a full, trimmed beard. The second suspect was a Caucasian man between 25 and 27, with short brown hair.

Police have asked anyone with information about the incident to call the VPD’s Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541.

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