Newcomer to Canada scammed out of $6,000, Delta police say
A Delta police cruiser is seen in this undated photo from the department's website. (Delta police)
VANCOUVER - Police in Delta say a newcomer to Canada was scammed out of $6,000 by someone pretending to be a police officer investigating her for money laundering.
In a release issued Thursday, Delta police say the woman had saved up the money by working in a fast food restaurant in the city for six months.
“Unfortunately, the woman was convinced she was talking to a police officer, and was instructed to purchase $6,000 worth of bitcoin, which she did through a machine in Surrey,” said Delta Police Department spokesperson Cris Leykauf.
The scammer in this case appeared to be calling from Service Canada, but was using an app to "spoof" the number, police said, adding that scammers have used the DPD's non-emergency number in this way in the past.
Delta police are warning newcomers to Canada -- and the general public -- not to fall for this tactic.
"Canadian police officers will never call you and ask for or demand payment," Leykauf said in the DPD release. "If this happens to you, it is a scam. Hang up immediately.”
The Delta warning comes on the heels of a similar one from the Vancouver Police Department.
On Thursday, the VPD said it had received several reports from Vancouver residents who said they received calls from fraudsters using the department's non-emergency number.
The scammers in those cases claimed to be VPD officers or representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency, and they demanded payment in bitcoin or gift cards.
In their release, Delta police note that "governments in Canada do not ask for payment via bitcoin or gift cards."
Both police departments note that scams can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by phone at 888-495-8501.