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E-transfer scam drains Langley woman’s bank account

Police warn of several sophisticated scams that have cost locals thousands of dollars

Langley RCMP have been investigating new technology scams that are so good, even experts may be fooled.

Technology can be a wonderful thing, but with everything good there comes a little bad, said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy.

Langley RCMP has been made aware of a recent scam where an individual received a text message indicating they had an incoming E-transfer of money.

Once the victim clicked on the link, it automatically went into her banking app where the password was entered.

After following the prompts, the woman received a message indicating the money would be deposited in her account in the next couple of days. Unfortunately, rather than receive a deposit, her entire bank account was emptied, said Langley RCMP.

So, how do we protect ourselves?

E-transfers generally indicate a ‘sender.’

If you find you are receiving money and there isn’t a name or business attached from whom you are expecting money, do not follow the prompts. If you receive a transfer from someone you do know and weren’t expecting it, check with them to ensure the transfer of funds is legitimate, police advise.

The second scam is a more sophisticated take on the ‘your family member needs bail’ fraud.

In this occurrence, a woman received a call from what she believed to be her husband’s cellphone.

She later found out his phone had in fact, been ‘spoofed.’ When she answered the phone, the caller identified himself as a police officer, provided a badge number and indicated she was on a three-way call with a Canadian Border Service Agent.

The officer advised her that her husband had been taken into custody and needed nearly $5,000 bail money to secure his release. She was threatened with arrest if she didn’t comply and was instructed to use a Bitcoin ATM to withdraw the money. After following the instructions she deposited the money through the WhatsApp application.

She was then required to make additional deposits to ensure her husband would have no issues with border crossings in the future.

There was a third demand for money and at that time the call was disconnected.

The victim became concerned and called back, at which point her husband answered the phone and told her he was sitting at home and had never been arrested.

Police Don’t Solicit Bail Over Phone

“Police agencies will not solicit money for bail to be paid through systems such as WhatsApp, nor can bail be paid with bitcoin. Bail can only be paid at a courthouse or a police station,” said Largy.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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