We’ve all received the fake phone calls, gotten the fake emails of Nigerian princes looking for a visa, or clicked on that fake advertisement that turns out to be a virus.

It’s as common as the cold and as frustrating and scary as COVID-19.

VicPD investigators have warned the public about four separate scams involving wire fraud and cyber security after computer-aided fraudsters stole $5,400 in four days.

These files remain under investigation.

On February 12th, a victim received a phone call from a scammer that claimed their computer had been infected with spam. The caller convinced the victim to share their screen so the caller could fix the problem.

During the screenshare, the screen focused on the victim’s banking information. The victim was convinced to purchase $500 worth of Google Play cards, take pictures of the information on the back of the cards and send those pictures to the scammer.

The victim called police to report that they had been the victim of a “Google Play Card” cyberattack scam.

On February 14th, a victim called police to report they had been the victim of a wire fraud. The victim received a series of phone calls from the scammer, who informed the victim that they needed to wire money to access a line of credit.

The victim, a senior, sent $900 before realizing they had been scammed. The fraudster compromised the senior’s personal information and bank accounts.

On February 16th, two victims reported scams. One was the victim of a wire fraud and the other was a victim of a “romance scam,” as reported.

In the wire fraud, the victim received a series of phone calls from the scammer who told the victim they needed to pay tax on money the victim won. The victim sent $14,000 by wire transfer before they realized it was a scam.

The romance scam, akin to catfishing, included the “Finally” dating app where the scammer began a relationship with the victim, which they thought was genuine. The scammer told the victim there had been a death in the family and that he needed to borrow $2,700 for a funeral.

Once the victim transferred the money the scammer disappeared and deleted his profile from the app.

You can learn more about how to protect yourself, your family and your organization from fraud by visiting vicpd.ca/fraud. If you have fallen victim to a fraud, stop payment immediately, contact your financial institution and contact VicPD at (250) 995-7654.

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