(File photo)

Fraud alert issued by North Okanagan police

Busy start to year with more than 30 frauds reported already

More than 30 cases of fraud have been reported to Vernon North Okanagan RCMP so far in 2021.

Police are reminding the public to remain vigilant as reports of fraudulent activity continue.

The effects of fraud in our community can be far reaching and in some instances, financially devastating, RCMP said. While it is incredibly difficult to stop the solicitation, consumers and businesses play an important role in combatting fraud. Fraudsters are finding more creative and sophisticated ways to swindle people and businesses out of their hard-earned money, however, there are several key things to watch for that will indicate you are the target of a scam so you can take action to protect yourself.

Warning signs you may be the target of a scam:

• Scammers pretend to be from an organization or a customer you know to avoid suspicion;

• Scammers present a problem or a prize as a lure to gain and keep your attention;

• Scammers pressure you to act immediately;

• Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way allowing them to collect their money quickly and without trace.

Tips to protect yourself:

• Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

• No matter who you think is calling, never give out personal information over the phone.

• Never pay a debt by crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others.

• If someone contacts you allegedly from a company, hang up and contact the company yourself to verify the information.

• If you didn’t make the call, you don’t know who you are talking to;

When in doubt discuss it with a family member or trusted friend. Never rush into a decision because someone is pressuring you.

“The ability to identifying and recognize these warning signs is the most effective way to put an end to a fraud before it can happen,” Const. Chris Terleski, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer said. “Fraudsters are not going to simply go away, but through awareness, education and diligence, together we can put an end to a crime that takes so much away from our communities.”

As with any scam, if you have not provided personal information or lost any money, you do not need to contact your local police. You can report it to the Canadian Anti- Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501.

READ MORE: Police hunt for woman charged in horrific assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

READ MORE: Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek hotel


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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