Foreign Money Transfers

New twists on the Nigerian Letter scam continue to dupe unsuspecting victims. Beware emotionally charged letters, emails and social media posts from people in foreign countries asking for financial assistance, discovering inheritance money, offering investment opportunities or suggesting the need to transfer money for any reasons. In most instance when an unknown party requests a wire or money transfer to a stranger in foreign country, the story is a lie and your money will be stolen.

CONSUMER TIP: Never wire or transfer money or share private credit card and banking information with strangers unless you are comfortable losing your money or having your information stolen. Money transfers are virtually untraceable once sent and received. Beware complex cheque cashing and money transfer schemes, in which a cheque is given to you or money is deposited into your account, and you are then to write a cheque or send money to someone else. Overpayment schemes and identity theft are common outcomes from foreign money transfer scams.

British Columbia

CRA Phone Scam

Scammers posing as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) employees continue to contact Canadians, misleading them into paying false debt.

These persistent scammers have created fear among people who now automatically assume that any communication from someone representing the CRA is not genuine.

If you receive a phone call from a person claiming to be from the CRA please remember they will never ask for,

  •  Personal information about your passport, health card or drivers license.Demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards from retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, or others
  • use aggressive language or threaten you with arrest or sending the police
  •  leave voicemails that are threatening

Make sure the caller is a CRA employee before you give any information over the phone,

  • Ask for or make a note of the callers name, work section and office location and tell them that you want to first verify their identity.
  • You can then check that the employee calling you about your taxes works for the CRA or that the CRA did contact you by calling 1-800-959-8281 for individual or 1-800959-5525 for businesses.

To report a CRA scam you can go online and report at or call 1-888-495-8501.

( above information taken from Government of Canada online site )

If you think you may be the victim of fraud or you unknowingly provided personal or financial information, please contact your local police service and financial institution.

British Columbia

Sim-Swap Scam

The Sim-Swap Scam is on the rise in Canada. TELUS has a post that covers the scam in detail.

Some takeaway points to be aware of, to prevent yourself in being a victim of this scam

  • Guard your phone and number. Have a password set on your phone to lock the phone when its not in use, and avoid sharing out your phone number
  • Use Strong Passwords for your online bank accounts. Don’t use a single password thats easy to guess for all your accounts.
  • Set up accounts using Multi-Factor-Authentication and avoid using a text based Two-Step-Authentication
  • Watch out incase your phone stops working, or if you get a text from your provider that your number is being changed to another provider.

If you have fallen victim to this scam. Please reach out to your local RCMP detachment, and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501


More Phone Fraud

Recently through the media the Central Okanagan RCMP warned residents of a scam involving an elderly Kelowna grandmother who lost $14,000.She was panicked into sending money due to being told an urgent situation had occurred with a family member that required immediate payment.  Commonly used scenarios involve an arrest or accident involving family member or friend while travelling abroad.Monies are needed to cover hospital expenses, lawyer fees or police / court bail.Often the potential victim is instructed to send money via a money service such as Western Union or MoneyGram.Please be very careful and protect yourself when you receive unexpected  phone calls informing you of a family member emergency. 

Please take your time and verify the information provided.  Ask the caller questions that only the family member or friend is able to answer.Confirm the whereabouts of the family member or friend with other relatives.Never voluntarily give out family members names or information to unknown callers.Police, Judges or legal entities will never make urgent requests for money.Always question urgent requests for money.Before you send money to anyone take some advice from a relative or close friend.