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RCMP warn of new phone scam targeting seniors

Police in Campbell River are getting the word out about a phone scam that’s primarily preying on seniors.

“There’s a new scam going on right now, where they’re calling in and telling you it’s Border Services,” Campbell River RCMP Cst. Maury Tyre says.

“It’s fake, it’s false,” he warns. “If any sort of organization calls you and tells you that you need to pay in Google Play cards, Amazon cards, iPhone cards… it is fake. Do not do it.”

According to Tyre, “they’re really targeting seniors with this scam.”

“So folks, if you do have seniors in town that are part of your family that aren’t on the internet, please let them know to not fall victim to this scam,” he says.

If a government agency needs to deal with you, Tyre says they’ll call you and ask for a call back “at most.”

“For the most part, you’re actually going to get proper mail in your mailbox from them, or an RCMP officer will actually visit you. They won’t call and warn you that an RCMP officer is coming to arrest you, they will actually show up at your door and explain that something is going on.”

There are other iterations of this scam too, Tyre adds. Scammers call and tell the victim that their relative is stuck somewhere and needs bail money.

“It’s all fake, please don’t fall for it. There’s next to no way to get your money back or get these people charged. For the most part, they exist outside of Canada, and outside of the United States for that matter. Places where we do not have a way to track them.”

Tyre finds it “very very difficult” to try and get any sort of justice for the people who fall victim to these types of scams.

He’s now urging you to check the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website, as it’s not only updated with ongoing frauds nearby but also the “latest and greatest frauds coming from other places to be aware of.”

Tyre adds, “These people are using high-pressure sales tactics, telling you not to get off the phone because if you get off the phone you’re going to call and ask someone ‘Hey, is this real?’ Again, these kinds of high-pressure sales tactics are not done by police, they’re not done by border services, they’re not done by the Government of Canada.”

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