The Bonnyville RCMP Detachment has again received numerous reports of citizens being targeted by scammers. The best way to combat these types of crimes is to raise awareness and to educate citizens to prevent the sharing of sensitive information.
Residents of the Bonnyville RCMP Detachments are receiving calls indicating that they have won cash or prizes. Scammers are calling advising that they are from or on behalf of Readers Digest, Western Lotto or some other large company. The residents are told that in order to claim their prize they must first send the caller money for fees and taxes. If you have not entered a lottery or signed up to be eligible to win a prize, this should raise red flags to you. Please do not give out personal information or financial information over the phone to the caller and you should get off the phone. If you believe there is any legitimacy to the call, please contact the alleged company through their number listed in the phone book or their legitimate website NOT by the number provided by the caller.
Citizens are receiving calls, automated and from individuals, claiming to be from the CRA or the RCMP stating that the citizen owes the CRA money and if they do not forward money immediately they will be arrested. The RCMP does not act a a debt collector for the CRA. The Bonnyville RCMP Detachment is advising citizens to get off the phone, even if the caller is persistent, and to not give out personal information to the caller. Should the citizen believe there is any legitimacy to them owing the CRA money, they should still get off the phone and can contact the CRA. Please note, one large indication of a scam is if the caller states that money should be paid in any way other than Canadian currency to a legitimate financial institution, for example gift cards or western union transfer. More information can be found at www.cra-arc.gc.ca
How to report scams and frauds in Alberta:
- If you have not lost money but suspect you have been targeted, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre @ 1-888-495-8501 / www.antifraudcentre.ca
- If you receive a suspicious email or phone call soliciting your financial information, advise the bank/ agency involved
- If you are a victim of fraud, contact your local police, and the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre
*Press Release from the Bonnyville RCMP Detachment
The Bonnyville RCMP would like to remind the public that if they have any information they believe is related to a crime to contact the Bonnyville RCMP at 780-343-7200/780-826-3358 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.