'False boss' scam prompts warning from Richmond RCMP
Richmond Mounties are warning the public about a scam circulating on WeChat. (Shutterstock)
VANCOUVER -- A new scam that appears to mostly be circulating on a Chinese social media app has led Richmond Mounties to issue a public warning.
In the scam – dubbed the "false boss" scam – individuals are tricked into being the middleman in currency exchange fraud.
First, Richmond Mounties say, a person is recruited or hired for a job without a face-to-face interview ever taking place. One of their first assigned tasks is to open a bank account for their "employer."
Afterwards, the new employee is asked to help conduct a currency exchange between their supposed boss and a client. After receiving money from the client, the new employee deposits funds into the bank account.
This is when the "employer" withdraws the money, leaving the client with no exchanged money and the new employee holding responsibility from the client's perspective. Mounties say this could lead to unintended criminal consequences for the new employee after money is taken from the client.
"Jeopardy is attached when using any type of social media app and is especially dangerous when an app is based in a foreign country and permits monetary transactions," Cpl. Dennis Hwang said in a news release.
"To date, we have seen one instance of this type of scam. We anticipate other occurrences may be forthcoming with awareness of this type of scam."
Mounties say most of the communication for these transactions is done on WeChat, a Chinese social media app.
"We must re-iterate that variations of this can exist and may have occurred in other areas beyond Richmond," Hwang said.
"We strongly urge that anyone who believes that they may have been a victim of a similar scam to contact the Richmond RCMP or the police of their jurisdiction."