Mystery Shopper Scam

Sunshine Coast

2020-11-19 13:36 PST

File # 2020-7995

On November 18, a Gibsons resident reported falling for an elaborate variation on the popular "mystery shopper" fraud.

The scam started after the resident received a phone call from someone purporting to be a representative from the Amazon on line shopping website. The "rep" attempted to obviously defraud the resident but as expected, the resident recognized this and did not fall for the scam. However, shortly after, the resident received a phone call from a male who said he was an RCMP member with the Cyber Crime Unit. The "officer" explained that they were trying to bust the "rep" and saw from their records that the resident had received a call from the "rep" and as she didn't fall for the scam, wondered if she would be willing to assist them in catching one of the RCMP's most wanted cyber-criminals.

The resident agreed to use her own money in the "sting" after the "officer" told her she would be reimbursed double her money. The resident gave the "officer" remote access to her computer so that the "officer" could see her financial information (and later manipulate to show false screen shots showing the promised payments in her account). In a two week span, the resident wired several large installments of money as per the "officer's" instructions. It was only after the "officer" cut off all communications that the resident grew suspicious, checked with her bank directly, and realized she was out a five-figure amount and that no monies had ever been deposited in her bank. Unfortunately, it is unlikely the resident will recover her monies.

To learn more about these types of scams and how to recognize the red flags, please visit sites such as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.
 

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