submitted by St. Albert RCMP
St. Albert RCMP received a complaint about a citizen who fell prey to a relationship/dating scam. The individual met the scammer on the Facebook Dating App, and began a friendship for approximately 6 months. They communicated on Facebook and on an App called “Telegram.” The male stated he was a doctor in the military on a mission overseas.
After several months of communicating online their friendship moved into a romantic online relationship. In early June the fraudster indicated he needed money for his son’s birthday present (a piano), who resided in the United States while he was overseas. The St. Albert resident wire transferred $7500 USD, to a bank account in the United States, thinking it was for the birthday present. The citizen realized, after-the-fact, that it was a scam and the money was lost.
This is just one of many relationship scams circulating in Canada. St. Albert RCMP wants to warn citizens about such scams and how to protect yourself from being victimized. Here are a few ways on “How to Spot a Scam:”
- Calls from unfamiliar area codes or numbers.
- Emails from unknown senders or addresses.
- Online or over the phone requests for immediate payments, money transfers, e-transfers, or gifts cards, (this includes individuals one meets through dating apps)
- When personal or financial information is requested via text, or email.
- Pre-recorded phone messages or voicemails from banks or government agencies.
- Be extra cautious when dealing with cheques from unknown parties.
- If you’re unfamiliar with how cryptocurrencies work, you should avoid dealing in them.
If you have been a victim of fraud or would like more information on all the different fraudulent scams in Canada, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre @ www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
St. Albert RCMP encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity to the RCMP Detachment at 780-458-7700. Reports tell us where to look, who to look for, and where to patrol in the future. If you see a crime in progress, dial 911. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.