Police say they are receiving reports of a variation to the “Cheque Overpayment Fraud” which targets potential host families for international students.
The fraudster has been known to contact the host family to host their son or daughter. The fraudster then sends the victim a cheque for too much money and asks that the victim send the difference in balance to their son or daughter to pay for their air travel to the host’s community.
Some tips to avoid overpayment scams:
• Know who you are dealing with;
• Never accept a cheque for more than your asking price;
• Never agree to wire back funds to a buyer;
• Resist pressure to “act now.” If the buyer’s offer is good now, it should be good when the cheque clears;
• Consider a visit to the bank branch to determine if the cheque is legitimate;
RCMP have also noticed another wave of the “Emergency or Grandparent Scam” which typically targets the elderly.
The fraud artist will often call from a private phone number and claim to be a grandchild, a niece or a nephew and ask for the victim to wire money to them.
The fraud artist will usually state that they are in jail or have been in a crash and require the money for legal fees or their release. Often victims don’t verify the information until after the money has been sent.
Additionally, police in Kelowna have also received reports of a man in his 40’s going door to door asking for $30-$40 cash to pay for a tow truck. Typically, the suspect male claims to be a neighbour, that he has broken his key trying to get into his vehicle and is short an amount of money to pay for a tow truck. The man promises to return the cash however never returns.
If you suspect you are being scammed or have been the victim of a scam contact your local Detachment of the RCMP immediately.
For more information on frauds or to report, please go to: www.antifraudcentre.ca
*Information provided by Kelowna RCMP