Bell

VicPD are warning the public about a gift card scam after an elderly local woman was scammed out of $3,000.

Police say the 83-year-old Victoria woman contacted them on September 6 to say she had been a victim of fraud.

She told officers she had been called by someone claiming to be a representative from Visa who told her that her account had been hacked.

The caller told the woman her Visa had been used for $2,600 in fake purchases on eBay as well as a transfer of funds to American currency.

They then went on to add that the woman needed to purchase $5,000 in Google Play gift cards in order to stop the charges from continuing.

The woman was instructed to purchase $1,000 Google Play gift cards at several different convenience stores.

After purchasing the cards, the woman provided the card information to the caller.

Police say the woman purchased $3,000 in Google Play cards before a staff member at the fourth convenience store alerted the woman to the fraud.

Officers cautioned the public that fraudsters can be convincing and will often appear with fake caller IDs imitating the Canada Revenue Agency or local police departments.

Fraudsters use aggressive techniques and language to keep potential victims on the line.

VicPD says that financial institutions will never require gift card purchases in order to resolve banking issues.

They ask that if you receive a call from someone claiming to be a financial institution who asks you to pay or transfer money or purchase gift cards, to hang up.

In the event you do give out personal information or money, you should contact your financial institution immediately to halt any unauthorized payments. Inform them of the fraud and change passwords and access information.

VicPD also ask that victims of fraud contact their non-emergency number at 250-995-7654.

You can also report fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or by visiting antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.