When a “bill collector” comes calling…

Barriere RCMP warn residents of bill collection frauds perpetrated by telephone

Barriere RCMP say they continue to receive reports of bill collection frauds perpetrated by telephone.

Typically, these scams involve a person claiming to be calling on behalf of a commonly used business service or government organization, such as BC Hydro or the Canada Revenue Agency. The scammer will usually claim that the victim owes money and they need to pay right away or face some sort of urgent penalty, such as arrest in the case of CRA, or the shutting off of utilities when claiming to be BC Hydro.

Sometimes, the scammer may even know details of the victim’s accounts, like balance, address, SIN, etc., all in an attempt to convince the victim that the call is legitimate. In order to extract money from the victim, the scammer will ask for payment in a variety of unusual forms, such as pre-paid debit or credit cards, gift cards, MoneyGram, Western Union, or Bit Coin. The scammer may even do internet research of your local bank’s business hours and make the call during times when the bank is not open, in order to pressure the victim to use one of these other methods of ‘payment’.

“The best course of action to take whenever you receive a cold call from someone claiming that you owe money is to hang-up, and contact the company or government entity directly via their telephone number in the phone book or official company website,” says Barriere RCMP Cpl. Rob Welsman. “Do not use phone numbers, email addresses, or website links provided by the scammer to contact the company, as these are fraudulent and will only lead you back to the scammer themselves.”

By contacting the business yourself instead of responding to a cold call, you can ensure that you are speaking with the real business or government entity. By making bill payments directly via your bank, you can receive the bank’s assistance in ensuring that your money is going to the legitimate utility company or government tax collection system.

If you work at a business that sells gift cards, pre-paid cards, or money transfer methods, you can help prevent scams. You can caution purchasers not to pay bills using these methods, especially if it resembles one of the above scenarios.

If you suspect that you have lost money to a fraudulent bill collector scheme, ensure you contact your local RCMP and your bank and/or credit card provider to report the incident. These organizations can assist you in trying to recover the lost funds or at least prevent further loss.

For more information on this and other types of scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Website

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Barriere RCMP hit the trail with BC Conservation Officer Service

Barriere RCMP Detachment Commander, Cpl. Robert Welsman, says he took to back… Continue reading

Plant veggies and enter Barriere Blooms contest

Victory Garden theme gets residents in the dirt

RV habitation once again a discussion topic for TNRD

“I don’t imagine for a moment that we’ve heard the last of the RV issue”

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Barriere family adds to memorial fence for fallen Snowbirds

Paying their respects for Capt. Jenn Casey and the entire Snowbirds’ family “a moving experience”

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read