Langley RCMP warning: Wife scammed with border services money demand

Langley’s RCMP is warning the public about some scams going around and how technology is being used.

People are learning that technology such as money E-Transfer can be used against them. The Langley RCMP is warning about a scam that cropped up locally.

“Langley RCMP has been made aware of a recent theft where an individual receives a text message indicating they have an incoming E-Transfer of money,” said RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy.

Once the victim clicked on the link, it automatically went into her banking APP where the password was entered.

“After following the prompts, she received a message indicating the money would be deposited in her account in the next couple of days. Unfortunately, rather than a deposit, her entire bank account was emptied,” Largy noted.

She added that E-Transfers typically contain a ‘sender’ so that if the name is not a person or business you are expecting money from, don’t follow the prompts.

“f you receive a transfer from someone you do know and weren’t expecting it, maybe just quickly check with them to ensure the transfer of funds is legitimate,” Largy added.

Who d’at?

In another case of technology being used in a scam, a woman received a call which appeared to come from her husband’s cellphone.

“She will later find out his phone has in fact, been ‘spoofed’,” Largy said. “When she answers the phone, the caller identifies himself as a police officer, provides a badge number and indicates they are on a three way call with a CBSA [Canada Border Services Agency].”

She is then told that her husband is in custody and she must send $5,000 for his release.

“She is threatened with arrest if she doesn’t comply and is instructed to attend a Bitcoin ATM to withdraw the money,” Largy noted.

She follows the instructions and deposits the money through the WhatsAPP application.

She is then required to make additional deposits to ensure her husband will have no issues with border crossings in the future. There is a third demand for money and at that time the call is disconnected.

“Our victim becomes concerned and calls back at which point her husband answers the phone,” Largy said.

All the while he was sitting at home and had never been arrested in the first place.

Largy wants to emphasize a few key points about a case such as this.

Police and government agencies such as Border Services never insist on payment of such things as bail or custody release. And they most certainly never use Bitcoin (cryptocurrency and digital payment system) and apps such as WhatsAPP for payment.

“Bail can only be paid at a courthouse or a police station,” Largy added.

She said people need to ask questions when encountering unusual circumstances such as these, ask for identities to be verified and call the agencies people claim to represent.

Rental runaround

The police have located a possible bank account holder in Saskatchewan who is responsible for a rental scam.

Recently a person responded to a rental ad on Craigslist.

“After completing a rental agreement, he is told to E-Transfer the deposit in order to get the keys. Once the money is transferred, the victim attends the property only to be told the property was never for rent in the first place,” said RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy.

Her recommendation – never hand over any money until seeing the property and meeting with the person responsible for the property, either the owner or property manager.

Unwelcome help

The Langley RCMP is reminding people to never allow entry into the home of unscheduled maintenance workers.

“Recently, a male attended a residence in South Langley indicating he was there to service the gas powered appliances in the residence,” said RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy. “He had an identification tag that was fairly illegible and indicated he was from a private company representing a larger gas corporation. Once the male was inside the home, the homeowner started to have concerns and asked the male to leave which he did.”

Utility company maintenance workers do not arrive without scheduling the work and often only because the client made the request.

“If this happens to you, do not allow them entry, insist on an employee number and call the company yourself to confirm their actually who they say they are,” she added.

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