Sunshine Coast RCMP reported a couple of scams this week involving residents being swindled out of large sums of money.
The first one was reported on Dec. 13 by a Sunshine Coast woman who had been hooked by a supposed friend on an online social/dating application.
“This ‘friend’ introduced the resident to another party, allegedly in the U.S. military, and this person cultivated a relationship with the resident,” RCMP said in a release. “After a time, the ‘military’ man told the resident about a scheme to withdraw a very large cache of funds from overseas. The resident agreed, for a later share of these funds, to assist in smuggling these funds out.”
Police say the woman then started receiving emails from bogus customs officers, United Nations officials, and FBI agents, all demanding she send money or else face charges of money laundering.
“Over the course of six or so months, the resident sent money totalling well into six figures until finally coming to police,” the release said.
“Unfortunately, as all the emails, which were rife with spelling and grammatical errors, came from very suspicious websites, and the suspects are likely based overseas, the resident is not likely to recover any funds.”
The second incident, also reported on Dec. 13, involved a Sunshine Coast man who was defrauded “after the scammer somehow accessed his phone and bank and email accounts, attempted to change the resident’s cell phone number, and managed to fraudulently charge the resident’s credit card for thousands of dollars.”
Police note that this type of scam is increasing in popularity. They advise the public to learn more about common scams by visiting sites such as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org