Scammers are dialling local phone numbers in an effort to con West Coasters.
Ucluelet police are cautioning locals against giving personal information over the telephone.
“We have had some recent victims in Ucluelet where they have been scammed out of thousands of dollars and we don’t want to see any more,” Const. Josh Roda told the Westerly News.
“We want the public to be really vigilant because these scams are becoming more and more prevalent.”
The current scam involves callers claiming to be with the Canada Revenue Agency and attempting to score prepaid credit cards, gift cards or personal banking information.
“If you are contacted by anyone claiming to be with the Canada Revenue Agency asking you for money, or emailing you saying you’re supposed to get money and to give them your banking information, contact your local RCMP,” Roda said.
“The CRA is not going to contact people and say, ‘We have money for you; give us your banking information.’ They’re not going to tell people that they owe them money and to send them money via certain transfers. That’s not how it works.”
Roda encourages locals to be suspicious of anyone asking for their personal information no matter how convincing the call might be.
“These people are very good, in the heat of the moment, to stir you up and play on your emotions,” he said.
“They’re very good at what they do and, I think, always getting a second opinion from either a family member or the police is the best way to avoid being scammed.”
He added it’s difficult for police to locate scammers because they are often operating outside the country.
“This Canada Revenue Agency scam is [predominantly] coming from the Middle East and they are routing their phones through Ontario phone numbers,” he said.
“People are sending them money to specific bank accounts or buying iTunes gift cards and giving them the gift card numbers. At the end of the day, it’s not traceable and the dollar amount isn’t significant enough that we can go to another country and try to find out who these people are.”