Scammers tried to steal a Cowichan Bay woman’s Visa card number. She didn’t take the bait. (Citizen file)

Scammers tried to steal a Cowichan Bay woman’s Visa card number. She didn’t take the bait. (Citizen file)

Scammer tries to nab Visa number off Cowichan Valley woman with no card

‘Things were going to happen if I didn’t handle this’

Cowichan Bay’s Judy Ross knows a thing or two about scamming. No, she’s not a scammer, but she sure receives a lot of phone calls from folks trying to trick her out of her money.

“I think I’ve had maybe three or four over the last month,” she said. “It always sounds like the same voice. They have an accent.”

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This time, Ross said the phone call was a little different than the usual and she hoped to put the word out that this particular scam is making the rounds.

“They were very professional,” she explained.

What Ross first heard was a recorded message from a woman claiming her Visa card had been used.

“It said that I had 30 minutes to complain about this or the transaction would go through and it would be on my Visa and on the computer.”

The recording rattled off some stores where unauthorized purchases had apparently been made and noted that the total spent was $1,500.

The recording then said Ross would then be patched through to a police officer.

“I didn’t really catch his name,” she said. “He came on and it was a real person. I said, ‘Well, how do I know that you are who you’re saying you are?’ He repeated that he was an officer and things were going to happen if I didn’t handle this. I said to him, ‘I’ll tell you what, give me your number and I will call you back’ and he hung up on me.”

The thing is, Ross knew right away it was a scam — she doesn’t even have a Visa card. But others aren’t so certain sometimes and so she wanted to let people know it’s happening.

“This one was really good,” she said. “Obviously he was wanting to get my Visa number. I just thought if you made a little note in the newspaper about a recording saying somebody has stolen your Visa number…If I hadn’t read in the paper about different scams before, and knowing not to give information out on the phone…I thought I’d let you know to let people know that there is this is out there.”