The Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation doesn’t cold call for cash, the non-profit reminded residents on Twitter after someone fell victim to a scam.
A common phone scam includes spoofing, where call display is manipulated to show trusted phone numbers. This tricks people into answering the call and believing they are speaking with a trusted source. A scammer will pretend to be from an organization and coerce funds from the victim. It is among the top telephone scams according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Oak Bay police added to the opportunity to remind residents to be extremely cautious as there are many scams.
“As a general rule, people should not give money or gift cards or anything else to someone who has called them. If a person is inclined to contribute, they should simply advise that they will do some research and may donate later,” Chief Ray Bernoties said.
“These criminals prey on vulnerable citizens so it’s important to inform our family and friends who may fall prey to these scams and, if possible, to put measures in place to prevent scammers from being able to access people we know.”
Some tips for preventing fraud are to never give confidential information out over the phone or through email, never give away your PIN or passwords, keep your personal information safe by shredding all bank statements and insurance papers before disposal, and always be skeptical – if you feel unsure or pressured by a phone call or email message – hang up or delete the email.
Anyone who believes they have been targeted by a scammer can report it directly to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or by phone at 1-888-495-8501, and those who’ve lost money in a fraud should call the local police to report it. To reach Oak Bay police call 250-592-2424.
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