Robbers who use fraudulent investment schemes are the subject of a public seminar Friday, organized by the Langley Seniors’ Resource Centre.
The centre is hosting the BC Securities Commission which offers its Be Fraud Aware seminar.
Many British Columbians have lost their life savings to risky or dangerous investments.
The commission teaches people the right way to invest including key steps such as understand the risks, ask the right questions, do some research or get a second opinion.
The seminar provides a wide range of tools to help investors develop critical thinking skills they need to protect themselves – information such as how to spot a fraud warning sign, types of scams and where to call to report a scam.
Register in advance for this free seminar which runs 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28 at the centre, 20605 51B Ave. Call 604-530-3020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The seminar comes on the heels of a Langley RCMP warning about scams that have emerged here.
“The first scam would involve your computer. The user would receive a pop-up message warning that her computer has been associated with child pornography and illegal music downloading causing the computer to lock up,” explained Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Marks.
These warning messages, which claim to come from the RCMP or other Canadian government agencies, tell recipients to pay $100 dollars via Ukash (a payment service provider) so their computers can be “unlocked.”
The scam involves hijacking the person’s computer.
Marks noted that this ransomware is nothing but a scam designed to create shock and anxiety so that victims respond by sending money quickly.
The police tell people do not send any money.
“Neither the RCMP nor any other Canadian government agency would hijack computers in order to obtain money. The ransomware presence is hard evidence that your computer has been infected by malicious software – malware – that must be dealt with,” she said.
The best way to deal with the situation is to have a computer technician remove the malware and to regularly update anti-virus, spyware and firewall protection.
People can find more information about computer virus and scams at the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre, www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
The second scam involves pulling at the heart strings.
On Sept. 5 a female knocked on the door of a home and said her baby was sick and needed medicine.
“The woman further advises she does not have enough money to pay for the medication and requests a loan,” Marks said. “The fraudster may elaborate on the ruse stating that her family is out of town and unable to assist. As she departs, she may even provide an ‘IOU’, a phone number and a promise to return. Needless to say, she did not.”
A local person fell for her sob story, giving her $100 and now the RCMP is investigating this fraud.
The fraudster is described as in her late 20s with a ponytail. The overweight woman was wearing beige shorts and a black shirt.
“While it is commendable for us to want to help those in need, it’s a sad reality that there are those out there who take advantage,” Marks commented. “It is your good will these fraudsters are praying upon. There is a variety of community and social services available to assist people with legitimate predicaments.”
Anyone with information about this crime can contact the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200 or through Crimestoppers to remain anonymous.
There is the tip line at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), the websites www.solvecrime.ca and www.facebook.com/metrovancouvercrimestoppers, or a text message. Text to BCTIP and a message to CRIMES (274637).