When Ralph Critchlow received a call from Jamaica, informing him he had won $1 million, he called the Summerland Review and offered to share the wealth.
Critchlow was laughing, but scam attempts are a serious matter as they continue to circulate in British Columbia and across the country.
The scam Critchlow received is the Jamaica Telephone Scam, which has targeted people in the community in the past. The scam involves a caller telling the recipient he or she has won a large prize, but must first send money to cover a processing fee. This is a sign the call is not legitimate.
While Critchlow recognized the call as a scam, Sgt. Dave Preston of the Summerland RCMP detachment said people continue to lose money to scams and frauds. In the case of seniors, frauds can deplete their retirement savings.
“This affects what they’ve worked their whole lives for,” he said.
Preston added that the fraud reports he hears have not changed too much in recent years. Instead, many of the same scam attempts continue to resurface.
He urges people to learn about scams and frauds, in order to protect themselves. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has plenty of information about the various scams, how to report them and how to cope for victims for scams and frauds.
According to the centre, Canadians have reported 11,266 incidents of fraud in January and February, 2021, with 7,646 victims who have lost $34.6 million In 2020, Canadians lost $107.5 million in successful fraud attempts.
In addition, Preston suggests people evaluate offers of winnings or of big discounts. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he said.
Those who have received scam calls are asked to contact the Summerland RCMP detachment at 250-494-7416 or to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/
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