Police say more people in the Okanagan appear to be getting calls about what is called the ‘Bank Investigator Scam.’
Victims are called on their landline phone and informed of a non-existent suspicious charge, often times for an online purchase, processed on their personal credit card.
The victim is then asked to provide their credit card number in order to cancel the made-up transaction, and are transferred to a pretend investigator.
“More disturbingly, the fraudster will often prompt the card holder to immediately call the toll-free number on the back of their credit card. The scam artist will not hang up and will remain on the open telephone line, while the victim dials, then he/she represents themselves as the victim’s financial institution or re-directs them to yet another scam artist who extracts even more personal information,” says Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
In some cases victims have been convinced to transfer their funds to an external bank account to safe guard their funds until the investigation into the matter is complete, or victims grant these criminals full remote access to their computers to ‘continue’ their investigation.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website offers the following tips:
-Calls to landlines from scammers in the Bank Investigator Scam tend to happen in the early morning, oftentimes when a victim is still asleep and or not yet fully alert. Be sure to be alert when dealing with important financial matters;
-Financial institutions will never request transferring funds to an external account for security reasons;
-Criminals are known to use “Call-Spoofing” technology, which is readily available, to mislead victims. Do not assume that phone numbers appearing on call display are accurate;
-Never provide remote access to your computer systems to anyone at any time.
RCMP in Kelowna have been made aware of these scamming attempts locally, but say there are no documented police reports of a successful defrauding taking place.