Squamish RCMP are warning the public about a rise in fraud in the community. The police have received several reports of scams in the past few weeks, with people being asked for money under false pretenses.
One of the most common scams involves a person receiving a call from someone who poses as a family member and asks for money for bail or hospital bills. The caller obtains personal information and addresses and then, posing as a bail collector, shows up at residences to collect the money. The amounts requested have ranged from $5000-$10,000.
Another scam that has been reported involves a person calling a business and claiming that the fire extinguishers are expired. The caller then tells the employee that they have spoken to the manager and the employee needs to transfer money immediately, usually in the form of gift cards or BitCoin, to pay the owed balance, or the business would be shut down.
The caller appears to have visited the businesses in the days or weeks prior and knows specifics about the business, including managers’ and employees’ names. In more than one report, while the employee has been on the phone with one person, a second person either attends the business or sends a text message to the employee posing as a manager.
Squamish RCMP reminds the public to be vigilant and cautious when asked for money. “Police, bail supervisors, or other legitimate persons or business representatives will not attend a residence to obtain money or request transfers to be in gift card or BitCoin form,” Squamish RCMP reminds..
If you receive a scam call, call your local police to report it. Sgt. Dallas Langley, OPS NCO of the Squamish RCMP, urged the public to stay alert and report suspicious activity to the authorities. “Don’t feel pressured or hustled,” he said. “Take a minute before providing any information or money.”