Beware of the bank investigator scam

Beware of the bank investigator scam

Scammer complaints are on the rise in the Central Okanagan

RCMP want Kelowna residents to be wary of the Bank Investigator Scam, as there have been several attempts as of late.

According to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre victims a growing number of people have been misled by scammers who portray themselves to be representatives of financial institutions.

It has been reported that the victims are called on their landline telephones and made aware of a non-existent suspicious charge, often times for an online purchase, processed on their personal credit card. The victim is then asked to produce their credit card number in order to cancel the fictitious transaction.

“The scammer will then pretend to transfer the victim to an alleged investigator,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the Kelowna Regional Detachment, in a press release.

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“More disturbingly, the fraudster will often prompt the card holder to immediately call the toll-free number on the back of their credit card. The scam artist will not hang up and will remain on the open telephone line, while the victim dials, then he/she represents themselves as the victim’s financial institution or re-directs them to yet another scam artist who extracts even more personal information.”

In some cases victims have been convinced to transfer their funds to an external bank account to safe guard their funds until the investigation into the matter is complete, or victims grant these criminals full remote access to their computers to continue their investigation.

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The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website offers the following tips:

Calls to landlines from scammers in the Bank Investigator Scam tend to happen in the early morning, oftentimes when a victim is still asleep and or not yet fully alert. Be sure to be alert when dealing with important financial matters;

Financial institutions will never request transferring funds to an external account for security reasons;

Criminals are known to use “Call-Spoofing” technology, which is readily available, to mislead victims. Do not assume that phone numbers appearing on call display are accurate;

Never provide remote access to your computer systems to anyone at any time;

At this time, RCMP in Kelowna have only been made aware of these scamming attempts locally.

“However, at this time there are no documented police reports of a successful defrauding taking place. Police just wish to educate and inform the general public of the possibility of being targeted in this scam,” said O’Donaghey.

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