A woman who police said was a newcomer to Canada, lost $6,000 after falling victim to a scam recently.
According to Delta Police spokesperson the woman was scammed by someone pretending to be a police officer, who told the woman they were investigating her for money laundering.
“Unfortunately, the woman was convinced she was talking to a police officer, and was instructed to purchase $6,000 worth of bitcoins, which she did through a machine in Surrey,” said Leykauf.
Bitcoin deposits are not traceable, and can be accessed by a fraudster located anywhere in the world.
The woman had saved up the money by working in a fast-food restaurant for six months, police added.
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The phone number appeared to come from Department of Services Canada, according to officials.
However, police said there are “a number of apps that will spoof phone numbers, and Delta Police Department’s non-emergency number has been used in this way in the past by scammers.”
In light of this incident, Leykauf said the department is reminding the public that “Canadian police officers will never call you and ask for or demand payment.” In addition, “governments in Canada do not ask for payment via bitcoin or gift cards.”
If this happens, she continued, “it is a scam. Hang up immediately.”
Anyone who thinks they may have been the victim of a scam, or has further questions about the types of scams that exist, is advised to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or toll-free at 1-888-495-8501.