JUNE 21, 3:03PM
The VPD sent out a release this afternoon stating that the victim in the scam below “exaggerated her report”, and that there were no in-person fake RCMP officers who handcuffed and kidnapped her, bringing her to a Bitcoin ATM. She was “embarrassed for falling for the scam and panicked”, making up the elaborate story you’ll read below.
She was scammed out of $6,000 but this is the same scam we have seen repeated multiple times recently.
JUNE 21, 3:03PM
Vancouver police are warning the public after a 58-year-old woman lost $6,000 to scammers posing as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) personnel and was “arrested” by fake police officers as part of the scam.
The woman received a phone call on Wednesday at about 4 p.m. from someone claiming to be from the CRA. The caller told her there was a warrant for her arrest related to a balance-owed from her taxes. The woman was then connected over a phone to another scammer who claimed to be an RCMP officer.
The person claiming to be a RCMP officer got the woman to provide her personal information including her location at the time. Then two men dressed in what appeared to be RCMP uniforms arrived at her location, handcuffed her and placed her in the backseat of an older-model sedan.
Police say the woman withdrew $6,000 from a bank near Cambie Street and West King Edward Avenue and was driven to a Bitcoin machine in Surrey to deposit the funds.
Once the transaction was complete the suspects left the area without the victim.
The first suspect is described as a white male, in his 30s, 5’11”, with average build, light brown hair and a full, trimmed beard. The second man is described as a white male, 25 to 27 years old with short brown hair and clean shaven.
Both suspects were wearing what looked like short-sleeved, RCMP shirts and blue pants with yellow stripes down the sides. Both were wearing police duty belts, including what appeared to be firearms.
The suspects were driving a black, older model, four-door vehicle with worn-out seats.
“This incident has taken the CRA scam to a new level. Taking physical control of someone like this can be considered kidnapping,” says Constable Jason Doucette, VPD. “We are reminding people to hang-up on anyone claiming to be from the CRA. If you want to double check, call the agency at a publicly available number.”
The CRA will not threaten customers with arrest, send the police to collect funds, or accept Bitcoin and gift cards as payment. Visit the Government of Canada website for additional ways to protect yourself against fraud.