ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Christmas is known as a season of good cheer, but it’s also one rife with scammers.
The RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador is warning the public after a recent report of an iTunes card scam, which starts off with a call from a person claiming to be with Visa and regarding a Western Union money transfer.
The scammer gives a name and employee number and asks the person to assist them in a joint investigation the RCMP is conducting about fraudulent bank activity occuring within Scotiabank and BMO, according to a RCMP release. For helping, the person will be compensated, the scammer says.
“The individual is instructed to log in to their computer and provide the scammer with information that enables them to remotely access the computer,” the release explains.
“Instructions are then sent, via several emails, to purchase iTune cards from various businesses in specific locations. Once the cards are purchased, the individual is to call the scammers back and provide them with the numbers on the back of the cards after they are activated.”
The scammers say money will be deposited into the individual’s bank account for helping. The target is then given a copy of what looks like a real bank transaction history showing deposits from the RCMP.
“One of the emails appears to be a letter from the RCMP explaining the process and the need for confidentiality so as not to jeopardize the investigation. It also requests the individual attend an RCMP detachment on a particular day for a volunteer’s meeting,” the release states.
The RCMP advises it does not conduct investigations in such a way and will never ask the public to allow them access to their computers.
Anyone who has received similar telephone calls or know of someone who has should call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, the release advises. If you have been defrauded, get in touch with the local RCMP detachment.