The Nanaimo RCMP and other Vancouver Island jurisdictions are warning the public about a spike in Canada Revenue Agency scam calls. (Stock photo)

The Nanaimo RCMP and other Vancouver Island jurisdictions are warning the public about a spike in Canada Revenue Agency scam calls. (Stock photo)

Nanaimo RCMP issues warning about scam phone calls

Callers claiming to be government officials convince victims to buy Bitcoin

The Nanaimo RCMP and other Vancouver Island jurisdictions are warning the public about a spike in scam phone calls.

The Nanaimo RCMP detachment alone has received upwards of 50 complaint calls a day for the past month.

According to police, several people have fallen victim to the scam and lost several thousand dollars. In one instance, an international student received a phone call from someone claiming to work for the Canada Revenue Agency. The victim initially thought it was a scam until the call was transferred to an “agent” who spoke with a “Canadian accent.” Only then did the victim think it was legitimate. The caller convinced the student his social insurance number had been compromised and unless he provided $4,500, he would be arrested. The victim transferred the money to a Bitcoin ATM, then scanned the bar code and sent the money to a Bitcoin account.

In another incident, a call was received from a man purporting to work for Service Canada who told the victim his SIN had also been compromised and if $750 was not transferred immediately he would be arrested. A second phone call was received, which appeared to have originated from the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line. Shortly thereafter that victim transferred the money into an untraceable Bitcoin account.

“This is very sophisticated scam which uses fear, threats and intimidation to pressure you into providing money or buying Bitcoin or some cases, gift cards,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “No legitimate government agency or police department would ever ask you to do this. Don’t fall for it. Simply hang up.”

To learn more about scams, visit the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.

TODAY’S MOST-READ: Body found at downtown bus exchange in Nanaimo, RCMP investigating



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

crimefraudRCMP

Just Posted

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

A total of 10 flight exposures have affected the Victoria International Airport in April so far, making it the highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hits record-breaking number of monthly COVID-19 flight exposures

As of April 21, 10 flight exposures reported for the month

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of UVic varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

Victoria’s economy is expected to bounce back fairly easily, according to a new report from BMO Capital Markets released April 15. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria in good position to bounce back post-pandemic, says BMO

City’s smaller size, lower COVID-19 caseload and diverse industry base bode well

It’s time to upgrade Metchosin’s connectivity, some residents are saying. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Petition signals desire for Metchosin cellphone coverage

It’s crazy for a Victoria suburb to be a dead-cell zone, petition writer said

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria rose to 5.7 per cent in March 2021, an increase of 0.8 per cent compared to February 2021. But the local unemployment rate remains the among the lowest in Canada. (Black Press Media File)
Greater Victoria’s unemployment rate rises to 5.7 per cent

The increase marks a reversal from recent months, but local economy among the strongest in Canada

Nanaimo city council voted in support of penning a letter to the province asking for a public inquiry into the justice system in B.C. and why the courts release prolific chronic offenders back into communities. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo supports call for tougher penalties, criminal justice reforms

Council concerned that repeat offenders keep being released, votes to send letter to B.C. government

Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association logo
Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association talks ‘return to play’

Sport hopes for a near-normal fall after struggle of the 2020-2021 minor hockey season

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

Most Read