Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Following a peculiar phone call from a man after an interview with her appeared in Peace Arch News, a Langley resident called the newspaper Thursday to confirm her suspicion.

Linda Bellamy said she received a phone call from a man Thursday. The man, who called from a Connecticut phone number, didn’t identify himself during the brief telephone conversation.

Bellamy told PAN that he asked for her email address so that he could email her the “design layout” for a news article PAN wrote about her and her mother Linda Vohlidka last February. The article was a feature on a crochet circle Bellamy started at Whitecliff Retirement Residence, where participants would make sleeping mats for homeless people out of plastic grocery bags.

Bellamy didn’t provide her email address to the man, and ended the conversation.

The man called a second time Friday.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre acting call centre manager Jessica Gunson, based out of Ontario, told PAN that Bellamy’s call was unusual, and the intent of the suspected fraudster’s motives are unclear.

“Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to that,” Gunson said Friday.

Gunson said the majority of complaints CAFC receives are based on phishing techniques. Phishing is an attempt to obtain sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, for malicious reasons by disguising as a trustworthy entity.

“There’s always a number of reasons why someone would want an email,” she added.

Another possibility, Gunson said, adding that she was only speculating, is that the suspected fraudster may have wanted to email malware or a malicious link, something that could mine personal data from the recipient.

“It’s hard to know what the intent was without having more information,” she added.

Gunson offered some tips to the public to protect themselves from scammers.

“Right off the bat, if you’re receiving an unknown call or receiving a call from a number you don’t recognize, our number one recommendation is don’t pick up,” she said.

Gunson, who said she regularly receives suspicious calls from 800- and 855-area-code numbers, says she routinely lets the call ring to voice mail.

“If it’s really important, they will leave me a message. If something is urgent, and if someone needs to get a hold of me, those who need to get a hold of me know how to reach me.”

The most popular scam CAFC is dealing with at the moment – across the country – is fraudsters pretending to be representatives from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

“That’s what we’re receiving non-stop here, 100 per cent. It’s something that our centre here is inundated with,” Gunson said.

Victims, and potential victims, reported to CAFC that the caller display read CRA when they answered the phone.

“Call spoofing is out there, it’s not illegal but the frauds behind it are,” she added.

Call spoofing is a technique that will mask the identification of a phone number. Fraudsters use it to dupe victims into thinking that they’re dealing with a legitimate representative.

“When a scammer calls and tells you that you’re being investigated for tax fraud, it’s a lie to get you to send iTune cards, Steam cards, bitcoin. That’s the endgame.”



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Visit us at peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cheng² Duo perform in Terrace with 17th-century cello

Siblings bring classical music to R.E.M. Lee Theatre

Kid-friendly ski day at Shames

There were 175 children who skied and took lessons for free at the Port of Prince Rupert event

NARA holds open adoption event

Six cats and two dogs were rehomed

‘Avalanche Awareness Days’ emphasize backcountry safety at Shames

The Skeena Bar and Shames Mountain Co-op both holding events this weekend

Wilson returns to Pacific Crest Trail undeterred

Terrace hiker was forced to abandon journey last year due to back injury at 566-mile marker

Cheng² Duo perform in Terrace with 17th-century cello

Siblings bring classical music to R.E.M. Lee Theatre

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver that killed BC RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Doug Ford says the Liberals’ carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

The Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

Most Read