(File photo)

According to RCMP, at least a dozen incidents of credit card and fraudulent bank scams have been reported in the last five days in the Nanaimo area. 

The losses range from $1,000 to $2,500, with the ages of the victims ranging from their late 20’s to late 60’s. 

Typically, in these incidents, a victim receives a telephone call from an individual who claims to work for VISA or a chartered bank. This caller tells the victim that several suspicious transactions have been noted on their account. 

The individual is then told that the only way to remove these transactions is to purchase gift cards or prepaid credit cards. 

In these instances, victims have been directed to purchase gift cards at London Drugs, and Walmart. Others were instructed to buy prepaid Mastercards at Canadian Tire. 

On Tuesday, August 23rd, employees at a Best Buy spared an individual from losing $3,500 after they were directed to their store to buy prepaid credit cards. 

Employees of the Best Buy sensed the person was being scammed and were able to assist. 

“These scammers are quite convincing but it is important to remember that accredited financial institutions or online merchants will never direct you to purchase gift cards or prepaid credit cards,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.