(Oak Bay Police/Twitter)

Oak Bay Police were busy last week responding to over 60 calls of reported crime. 

There were three notable incidents police dealt with, including a bizarre break-in, a speeder going over 100 km/h over the speed limit and a scammer trying to get money by claiming to be a BC Hydro employee. 

Breaking and entering

Early in the week, on Monday, January 9th, at around 3:30 p.m. police attended a home for a report of breaking and entering.

The home was located in the 1000-block of Beach Drive and had previously reported a break and enter on December 28th, not even a month prior to this incident.

In the December break and enter, police say that several items were stolen from the Beach Drive home. The report made on January 9th was similar to the initial incident, but a little bit different as well.

This time, the complainant told police that several items in the house were moved in a manner that made them think the thief was going to be coming back for the items later.

Oak Bay Police surveilled the residence overnight to try to catch the thief in the act.

Overnight, a pickup truck with a cargo trailer parked across the street from the house, and police say that its owner has a history of property crime.

According to police, around 5 a.m., officers saw their suspect who was the truck’s owner walk away from the residence, enter the truck and drive away. 

Police followed and arrested the 54-year-old man for possession of property obtained by crime. He was taken into custody and given a court date later in January. 

Excessive speeding

On Friday, January 30th, at around 1:15 a.m. a police officer was conducting a traffic stop on Foul Bay Road near Newton Street when they saw a vehicle travelling at excessive speeds down the hill.

Police say the officer was able to use a radar gun to determine its speed and it registered at 128 km/h. The posted speed limit on the road it was travelling on was 50 km/h.

According to police, the vehicle in question was stopped and the 21-year-old man driving was given a $468 ticket for excessive speeding, and his vehicle was impounded for seven days, as per the Motor Vehicle Act.

‘BC Hydro’ scam

Scams have been common across Greater Victoria in recent months and Oak Bay Police are only the latest to deal with the aftermath of one in their community.

At around 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10th, Oak Bay Police responded to a call of fraud in the 2800-block of Foul Bay Road. 

The complainant who had called the police told them they had received a phone call from someone claiming to work for BC Hydro.

The “employee” told them that their utility bill was unpaid and that they needed to pay immediately or the utilities would be cut off. 

It was specified by this “employee” that the bill must be paid in Bitcoin.

The complainant made an arrangement with this scammer to pay $3,000 in Bitcoin and was scammed out of that money.

Canada’s National Anti-Fraud Centre recommends the following steps to avoid falling victim to a scam such as this:

  • Don’t be afraid to say no – request the information your caller wants in writing or just hang up the phone
  • Ask for verification – banks and government organizations don’t typically ask for money over the phone. Ask for some verification regarding who your caller says they represent
  • Don’t give out your personal information over the phone unless you made the call to an organization you trust. Don’t give out:
    • Your name
    • Your address
    • Your birthdate
    • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    • Your credit card or banking information
  • Beware of “upfront fees” – some scammers will ask you to pay fees before receiving a prize, shipment or a service. This is illegal in Canada. If you win something, it is free
  • Protect your computer – don’t click on random pop-ups in your internet browser and don’t call any phone numbers that pop-up. These put your computer at risk of viruses that may be able to share your personal information
  • Be careful of sharing pictures – especially when it comes to expletive content. Do not share anything someone might be able to use as leverage against you
  • Protect your accounts – have strong passwords, use multi-factor authentication, only log into accounts from trusted sources and don’t share personal information on social media
  • Recognize spoofing – scammers will clone emails, phone numbers and websites to try to make you think they are contacting you from a trusted source. To protect yourself from spoofing you should:
    • Never assume phone numbers on your call display are accurate
    • Hang up then call back a number when someone claims to be contacting you from your financial institution, service provider, law enforcement or government agency
    • Call the company or agency in question directly if you receive a text message or email. Make sure you research their contact information and call the number on their website
    • Never click on links received via text message or email
    • When visiting a website, always verify the URL and domain to make sure you are on the official website

Utility companies will never request money in this way. Large organizations like BC Hydro would never ask their customers to pay them a large sum of money in Bitcoin or any other crypto currency. 

If you are suspicious about a call, an email or a text making a request like this, call the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

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