RCMP note that Albertans have been defrauded more than $3.5 million this year by individuals who will cold call their victims pretending to be a police officer, judge, or family member.
Police say the request has a sense of urgency – the payment must be made immediately or there will be worse consequences. Also there is secrecy – no one can know because it is embarrassing or because the judge has placed a publication ban or “gag order” on the case.
Investigators want to prevent these scams and indicate it is very difficult to recover and return cash to the victims.
Suspects will usually ask for cash, payment in gift cards, bitcoin, or e-transfers.
The scammers will then send an associate acting as a courier to pick up the money in person or ask the money be mailed.
Lloydminster RCMP want to remind citizens that:
• Bail is always paid in person at a courthouse, detachment or correctional centre
• Never send money to anyone you don’t know
• If a person claims to be a police officer or judge, call that police service or court house directly to confirm the situation – police and courts will never demand cash be picked up in person or mailed
• Never give out personal information over the phone or online to someone you don’t know – the police or courts will not ask for personal information over the phone.
Preventing Porch Piracy
With the holiday season on our door, Lloydminster police are cautioning residents about their parcels/mail that are being delivered at this time of the year.
Officers want you to practise good mail safety to help stop the ‘porch pirates’ from taking over. They advise tracking your shipments to know when they’ll arrive, and if you can, opt for a signature required delivery.
If you won’t be home, arrange for mail to be delivered to an alternate pickup location, like your local post office, or ask a friend or neighbour to collect it for you.
To keep an extra eye, officers advise installing a doorbell camera as they say it may help deter thieves.