Be on the look out for fraud

Phone calls often a way for fraudsters to find victims

When an offer is too good to be true, it’s probably not true.

When Astrid Koenig received an unsolicited call offering to significantly reduce the interest on her credit card, an alert Koenig patiently sat through and listened.

Then, at an appropriate pause in the sales pitch, Koenig asked them for their information and a call-back number. They hung up.

Koenig then entered *69 on her phone, a feature that allows a caller to hear the number of the last call that dialled their phone.

The number that came up was 604-298-3708. Koenig googled the number. And sure enough, a number of pages came up, warning readers of a scam.

Being proactive, Koenig phoned both her bank (to ensure that they weren’t randomly contacting people and making this offer) and the RCMP. She also phoned the Sooke News Mirror.

“People are at risk of losing a lot of money,” she said in conversation. Koenig used to work at a family resource centre in Calgary, and she knows banks don’t make these unsolicited offers by phone.

If you really want reduced interest rates on your credit card, Koenig suggests you “call your bank directly.” That was advice she used to dole out at the centre, and she often heard back from surprised clients that, if they made a payment proposal, a reduced rate was often made available.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers up the following advice to help consumers protect themselves from fraud: 1. If you suspect someone is trying to get your personal information, ask for the person’s name, name of the organization and A phone number where he or she can be reached.

2. Look up the organization’s telephone number or website yourself. Look at the back of your credit card statements or other legitimate documents to see if the telephone number or website address matches the one you were given.

3. Call the company by using the phone number you have looked up yourself to verify the person that has contacted you is indeed a member of the company’s staff.

4. Contact the Better Business Bureau and ask questions about the company.

If you have been a victim of fraud and suspect your finances are at risk:

1. Contact your local police and file a police report.

2. Contact the financial institutions, credit card companies, phone companies, and other lenders for any accounts you suspect may have been opened or tampered with.

3. Contact the two credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion and ask that a “Fraud Alert” be placed in your credit file. At the same time, order copies of your credit report and review them. Make sure all the accounts and debts that show up on your report are yours. Report any incorrect information to the credit bureaus.

4. Contact the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (CAFC) toll free at 1-888-495-8501 to report the fraud and get advice. The CAFC plays a crucial role in educating the public about specific mass marketing fraud pitches and in collecting and disseminating victim evidence, statistics and documentation.

Just Posted

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Announcement for Sooke Road improvement expected this week

Premier promising ‘preliminary’ work, with more on the way

Dozens rally outside Premier’s office for sick Sooke boy

Six-year-old Landen Lanthier needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Sooke’s Most Wanted

The following individuals are wanted by the Sooke RCMP as of Jan.… Continue reading

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Community rallies behind Sooke boy with rare condition

Dozens called on government to cover cost of drug for six-year-old Landen Alexa

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

LETTERS: More roads? More Cars? No thanks.

Climate change is real. Ecological destruction is real. Who out there who… Continue reading

LETTERS: Sooke roads not racetracks

What can we as a community do about the blatant law breakers… Continue reading

Most Read