More scams for Castlegar to guard against
Several more recent scam operations in the city have police warning Castlegar residents to be suspicious of unexpected government cheques, and bank drafts so convincing that even tellers at the issuing banks can’t distinguish them from the real thing.
Castlegar RCMP Const. Jeremy Knight said, “In one case, the victim was selling items on a legitimate website (Kijiji), received a response to purchase an item and then received a Bank Draft (Bank of Montreal) for $2,500 ($1,800 more than the agreed upon price).
“That bank draft later turned out to be counterfeit. An individual actually attended the victim’s residence, (saying he) decided not to purchase the item, but did take the $1,800 in cash, after allowing the seller a $50 fee for the ‘running around’ required.
“That individual was described as a 30-year-old Asian male operating a green vehicle. In all likelihood, these individuals, who claimed to be from Scarborough, Ontario, never wanted the article for sale, but are monitoring Kijiji and other websites in order to perpetrate similar frauds.
The lady in question was credited the money for the bank draft, which she then gave to the perpetrators, first as change from the purchse, then the rest as a refund when the perpetrattors said they didn’t want to buy the tiem after all. When the bank discovered the forgery, she was then out more than $2,000.
“In another recent case, an individual received an unsolicited $2,500 Government of Canada cheque (counterfeit) purportedly from France,” Knight said – but the cheque was so expertly forged that even detachment commander Laurel Mathew (who receives government cheques every two weeks by virtue of her job) said she could not have distinguished it from the real thing.
“The letter was drafted in poor English, requiring the recipient send funds via Western Union to an email address, again allowing the recipient $50 ‘for compensation’. Fortunately that individual reported this to the police.”
“The public should be alert to the fact that no one gives anyone anything for nothing, and that uninvited contact by an anonymous individual via computer, on the phone, via the mail or any other means offering monetary reward should be treated as suspicious,” Knight said
“The forwarding of a financial document which exceeds the value of the item purchased and the subsequent request for the excess amount in cash is a classic fraud technique used by criminals,” he concluded. “Those funds are rarely recovered and the victims are out the money.”