Marteny: Utility company scam targeted at local residents

On March 15, a senior resident of Kelowna was targeted by two fraudsters who pretended to be utility company employees.

On March 15, a senior resident of Kelowna was targeted by two fraudsters who pretended to be utility company employees.

The woman, who was at her residence in the 600 block of Lexington Drive in the Mission, was told that her gas meter needed to be replaced and that the cost was $400 cash in advance. The feisty lady became immediately suspicious and closed the door on them, saying she would call the gas company that the scammers claimed to be representing. This was the right thing to do.

When the gas company rep was told what had happened, he assured the woman that the two were not company employees, and that the company would never conduct business in that manner. The representative then called police to report the incident.

Police are investigating the incident, but they ask  anyone who has experienced a similar incident, whether money was lost or not, to call the RCMP with any information that could lead to the apprehension of the suspects.

In this particular case, the lucky senior did not lose her money, but sadly those who tried to dupe her will likely not stop in their attempts to part others from their hard earned money.

The targeting of seniors and the elderly by morally bereft individuals is reprehensible. In extreme circumstances, some victims are left virtually penniless and find it nearly impossible to cope with the loss.

It is important for seniors to know that everyone who writes, calls, or comes to the door with a goal of getting money from them under uncomfortable circumstances should be considered suspicious.

Time must be taken and questions asked before deciding whether a solicitation is genuine or fraudulent.

A simple acronym, SCAM, may help:

S—Safe. If you give in to one of these frauds, would you be worse off for having done it?

C—Credible. Does the person, who is trying to convince you, have any credibility that can be verified?

A—Aggressive. Is the scammer using an aggressive tactic, or language, that requires an immediate or imperative response?

M—Motive. Is their motive to deprive you of money or assets (banking information), with a promise of reward?

The important thing to remember is this; you can always hang up the phone, tear up the letter or close the door in order to protect your money.

For further information, contact Kelowna RCMP Cost. Steve Holmes at 250-470-6361.

Sharen Marteny is a services consultant for seniors in Kelowna.

250-212-1257

www.seniorsconsulting.net

 

Just Posted

New multi-million baggage system up and running at YLW

Kelowna Airport’s $39 million outbound baggage system can handle 900 bags an hour

New safety doors aim to protect transit drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

Death and fire not treated as suspicious

RCMP has turned the invesigation of Monday’s fire on Gaggin Road over to the BC Coroners Service

Reworked plan for Kelowna’s Green Square development approved

After rejecting first version of residential development expansion, council says yes to new plan

Police searching for GoPro owner

Police are looking for the owner of a GoPro seized by police in Kelowna

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Penticton Indian Band selects five new councillors

PIB aiming for internal reconciliation after by-election

Chiefs ground Rockets in Spokane

Former Rockets’ head coach Dan Lambert leads his Chiefs past Kelowna Wednesday in WHL action

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

Two types of civic engagement in PIB

Some voted in the byelection, others protested the polls, as Penticton Indian Band fissures continue

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

Most Read