RCMP is reporting that two people have been defrauded of over $34,000.00 recently in southwestern Manitoba.

They say that one instance saw the victim receive a telephone call from a person claiming to work for the Canada Border Services Agency. The caller advised that they had intercepted a package addressed to the victim. They claimed the package contained drugs, money and fraudulent documents. The victim had recently placed some Amazon orders and was awaiting their delivery, which made it believable and concerning. Additional calls were then made to the victim from someone impersonating a police officer, and another call from someone from the Canada Revenue Agency. The victim was advised to send monetary payments to settle the issue, which the victim did. In the days following, the victim continued to receive phone calls requesting more money and realized it was a scam and reported it to police.

In the second instance, a victim received a telephone call from someone impersonating a police officer, claiming that a family member of the victim had been involved in a collision and was now at a police station. The caller requested that the victim send money in order for the family member to be released from police custody. After the money was sent, the victim followed up with another family member and realized it was a scam and called police.

No police agency or other government agency will request you send monetary payments to them by way of mail, wire transfers, cryptocurrency or QR codes. This is a scam, and the callers usually use pressure tactics and threaten the victim if they don’t pay forthwith.

Here are some tips on how to avoid falling victim to a scam:

  • No information should ever be given to a person over the phone until you are satisfied they are who they say they are. Look up the phone number to the police agency/government agency they say they are calling from and confirm it by calling there yourself.
  • A real police officer would not ask to have money sent on behalf of your relative/friend.
  • Ask for help from a member of your family or a trustworthy friend if you are unsure about a call or request received requiring payment.
  • Verify identities or whereabouts of the caller.
  • Don’t feel pressured and do not send money before doing your own investigation.
  • Don’t disclose personal financial information.

If you receive suspicious telephone calls requesting money, please hang up and report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or through their online reporting tool. If you have been a victim of fraud and have lost money, please report it to your local police.

Fraud: Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.