For Immediate Release / March 10, 2021
RCMP - Crime Prevention theme for March is Fraud Prevention
The RCMP Crime Prevention theme for March is Fraud Prevention, hoping to educate communities about different fraudulent scams. In 2020, Alberta RCMP investigated a total of 10,504 reports of fraud, and in the month of March 2020, Alberta RCMP investigated a total of 915 fraud cases.
Over the past year, St. Albert residents have fell victim to many online and/or email/phone scams. One of the most recent fraud reports received by the St. Albert RCMP was on February 26, 2021, where a St. Albert citizen lost approximately $30,000 to an online relationship scam.
The individual met the scammer on Facebook, and after several weeks of communicating online, the fraudster indicated they needed money for new work equipment due to a loss suffered from a fire. The St. Albert resident wire transferred funds, sent i-tune cards and also mailed money to different locations in Canada & the United States, thinking they were helping out the scammer with out-standing bills. It was not until the resident attempted to wire transfer $60,000 to the fraudster that their financial institute stopped the money transfer, advising they felt it was a fraud and to contact police.
The St. Albert citizen felt they were not in a relationship with the scammer but just helping out someone in need, believing all monies would be returned.
How to Spot a Scam:
- Calls from unfamiliar area codes or numbers. Emails from unknown senders or addresses.
- Online or over the phone requests for immediate payments or money transfers, i.e. e-transfers, gifts cards, etc.
- When personal or financial information is requested via text, or email.
- Pre-recorded phone messages or voicemails from banks or government agencies.
- Be extra cautious when dealing with cheques from unknown parties.
- If you’re unfamiliar with how cryptocurrencies work, you should avoid dealing in them.
If you have been a victim of fraud or would like more information on all the different fraudulent scams in Canada, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre @ www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
St. Albert RCMP encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to the RCMP Detachment at 780-458-7700. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.
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Last edited: March 10, 2021