Halifax District RCMP were called to a Lower Sackville business reporting that they had a customer who they believed was being victimized by a fraudster.
On Monday evening November 2, police attended the business and spoke to the potential victim. She shared with police that she received a telephone call from a man who told her she had an issue with her computer and asked her to buy $2000 in gift cards from a specified retailer in order for him to fix it.
Police were able to convince the victim that she was being scammed and fortunately, she did not become a victim thanks to the awareness and quick actions of the business representatives. These scams can be very convincing as the offender can be very articulate and believable, this combined with a caller ID or spoofed email address it might appear they are associated to legitimate businesses or institutions.
Police are seeing similar scams in the province and many have one thing in common: They involve a request for payment in cryptocurrency or via gift-cards. "This is a strong indication that it's a scam, as the scammer is only looking to protect their identity from authorities" says Cpl. Wayne Ross of the Nova Scotia RCMP Commercial Crime Section. Police urge all Nova Scotians to discuss these circumstances with your friends and family highlighting red flags one should be aware of.
Recipients of these communications are asked to hang up or delete and not continue communication. Anyone who suspects they have been targeted in a phone or computer scam is encouraged to contact their local police, and also the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.