Phone scam making the rounds in Kelowna

Police would like to raise public awareness around two scams that have been making the rounds over the past few months.

  • Feb. 26, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Police would like to raise public awareness around two scams that have been making the rounds over the past few months.

The Kelowna RCMP is noting an increase in telephone scams where the caller claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency  however is not.

“These calls are fraudulent and could result in identity and financial theft. Some recent telephone scams involve the suspect threatening taxpayers or using aggressive and forceful language to scare them into paying fictitious debt to the CRA,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release.

“Victims often receive a phone call from a person claiming to work for the CRA who says that taxes are owed. The suspect usually requests immediate payment by credit card or will convince the victim to purchase a prepaid credit card and demand that they call the suspect back immediately with the information. The taxpayer is often threatened with court charges, jail or even deportation.”

If you get such a call, hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre of the RCMP.

To help you identify possible scams, use the following guidelines:

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):

·         Never requests prepaid credit cards;

·         Never asks for information about your passport, health services card or driver’s licence;

·         Never leaves personal information on your answering machine or voice mail service;

When in doubt, ask yourself the following:

·         Is there a reason the CRA may be calling?  DO I have a tax balance outstanding?

·         Is the requester asking for information I would not include on my tax returns?

·         Is the requester asking for information the CRA already has on file?

The Kelowna RCMP is also noting an increase in empty envelope ATM scams which at times leaves the victim on the hook to their financial institution for hundreds of dollars.

“Some recent scams involve a middle aged male who approaches victims on the street, often in downtown Kelowna.  He presents well and asks the victim for their help to deposit a cheque using their debit card and bank account,” said O’Donaghey.

“The suspect has a variety of excuses why he cannot use his own bank account and briefly shows the victim what appears to be a cheque. The suspect accompanies the victim to their bank and uses the ATM to deposit an empty envelope.”

The victim, believing a legitimate cheque was just deposited into his or her account, then allows the suspect to make a withdrawal for several hundred dollars. Once the bank discovers the deposit envelope is empty, the victim bank account is frozen and the victim is held accountable for the outstanding withdrawal.

The Kelowna RCMP would like to remind the public to be cautious of strangers approaching you requesting your help to make a deposit. Police urge you not to give anyone your bank card, or your personal PIN identification number. This scam always results in a financial loss to the victim as the victim is responsible for what is deposited and withdrawn from their bank account.

For more information on fraud prevention, please visit the:

BC RCMP Website at http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=2074&languageId=1&contentId=29638 or

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca

Just Posted

Rockslide closes Coquihalla northbound

Highway 5 is closed in both directions according to DriveBC

Community Leader Awards: Sheila Gardiner-Watt

The Kelowna Capital News celebrates those in the community who go above and beyond

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Announced this week in Kelowna

A listing of some of the events that were announced in the Kelowna area this week

Big White ski instructor named Top 10 in Canada

Big White’s Josh Foster has been selected for the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance (CSIA) Interski team

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Letter: Site C figures not correct

Kelowna letter-writer raises questions about the Site C dam project

Letter: Site C opponents are whining

If native treaty rights are being disrespected, just who is disrespecting them?

Albas: Canada Jobs program being politicized

Conservative MP Dan Albas’ weekly column takes on the student summer job plan

Fuhr: Pension for Life is a commitment to veterans

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr talks about his government’s commitment to veterans

Most Read