After reports that some residents have been defrauded out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Saanich police are warning about recent frauds that appear to be targeting members of the Chinese community.
Residents have reported receiving calls with pre-recorded messages in Mandarin or Cantonese, directing people to take urgent action regarding their accounts, sometimes claiming the accounts have been involved in a crime.
Fraudsters have identified themselves as agents, officials of corporations and even members of police departments.
The Saanich Police Department offered the following tips to help protect residents from these types of frauds or scams. Tips include a warning about pre-recorded messages, as police will not call residents with pre-recorded messages. They also warn residents to be wary of any pre-recorded message about winning prizes or that requires urgent attention to a matter.
Do not press any buttons when one of these recordings start, just hand up. If you are being transferred to the ‘police,’ hang up and call them yourself from a different phone number if possible.
Fraudsters can use computers to spoof phone numbers so the caller ID appears to be whichever agency or person they would like. When in doubt, hang up immediately.
Do not download unknown mobile applications or links from messages or emails if you cannot verify the sender.
Most importantly, do not disclose personal banking information.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.