March is ‘Fraud Awareness Month’: Surrey RCMP

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As a part of ‘Fraud Awareness Month’, Surrey RCMP is taking an opportunity to inform the public about common scams and to provide some best practices to avoid falling victim to fraudsters.

Every year, March marks ‘Fraud Awareness Month’, where particular attention is drawn to common frauds and scams that are present in the community.  Surrey has also noted several ‘distraction thefts’ which have taken place since the beginning of 2020.  To help keep community members informed, Surrey RCMP is providing the following tips to help everyone safeguard their money, property and data.

Telephone scams:

Telephone scams are one of the most prevalent scams present in our community, with the ‘CRA Scam’ leading the pack. In the ‘CRA Scam’ a person is called on the phone and led to believe they must pay money to the Canada Revenue Agency or a warrant will be issued for their arrest. You can find more information about the CRA Scam on the Government of Canada website.

Here are the red flags you can identify to know the call you are receiving is fraud:

1)     The police, a bank, or the Canada Revenue Agency will never call you and ask for a payment

2)     If you are asked to pay a fine in Bitcoin or with gift cards, it is fraud

3)     The police, a bank, or the Canada Revenue Agency will never call you and ask for your personal data (including your credit card details or social insurance number)

4)     If a deal seems ‘too good to be true’, it usually is

If you receive a call similar to one of the above scenarios, hang up the phone. It is fraud.

Some other actions you can take to protect yourself are:

1)     Never send money to anyone you don’t know

2)     Change your passwords regularly

More information, as well as tips to avoid current frauds and scams are available online by visiting the Competition BureauInterac and Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre websites.

Distraction Theft:

Distraction thefts occurred when suspects are either pretending to be selling jewelry or creating a dramatic scene where the victim feels compelled to assist.  In either situation, the suspects then swap out fake jewelry for the victim’s personal jewelry, while they are distracted.

To protect yourself against this type of crime, you can follow these steps:

1)     If a situation seems strange, remove yourself and go to a safe place

2)     Call the Surrey RCMP and report the incident

Remember: Trust your gut instincts. If a situation feels ‘wrong’, it usually is. Remove yourself and call the police.

To contact the Surrey RCMP, you can call 604-599-0502, or 911 if there is an emergency.

If anyone has information in relation to distraction thefts, please contact the Surrey RCMP or, if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.solvecrime.ca.