Guelph police say that a 62-year-old man was defrauded $2,500 by a hacker posing as the RCMP, and almost lost another $8,800.
The man received a phone call from someone pretending to work with the RCMP who said that they were investigating a bank for counterfeit money and needed assistance from the man. He then gave the hacker access to his computer through a link.
The attacker then showed the man a false screenshot that made it appear that $1,000 was being deposited into the victim’s bank account.
He was then told to purchase $500 worth of gift cards from a convenience store, scratch the backs of the cards and provide the hacker with the codes.
“The male followed through with this initial request, and this process was then repeated twice more for an additional $2,000 worth of gift cards from various stores,” Guelph police wrote in a statement.
He was then asked to withdraw $8,800 from his bank account and mail it to a fictitious RCMP lab for analysis. He followed through with this request and was then asked to buy another batch of gift cards but was advised by a store employee that it was likely fraud.
The victim then froze his accounts and stopped the delivery of the package and notified the police about the incident.
Police say that the public must be cautious whenever they are contacted by a stranger, and are reminding people that police would never ask the public to purchase gift cards or send money in order to assist with an investigation.
It’s interesting to note that the government held a hearing regarding phone scams on March 11th, and noted that the upcoming anti-spoofing technology (STIR/SHAKEN) won’t be effective enough in reducing fraud calls.
The telecom industry noted that there need to be several different steps taken to address fraud calls, and that there needs to be more done to advise Canadians on how to protect themselves from fraud.
Source: Guelph Police Service