Fraud alert -WhatsApp


2023-02-16 10:00 PST

File # 2023-5123

A Nanaimo woman recently lost $1800 in a scam that uses the texting platform WhatsApp. The fraud occurred on February 13, 2023 and involved the purchase of nine Vanilla pre-paid Mastercards.

The victim told police her daughter is travelling overseas and the two of them have been using WhatsApp to communicate with each other. Several weeks back though, her daughter told her that her WhatsApp account had been blocked and to start using Instagram to communicate with her.

On Monday February 13, 2023, the victim received a text on WhatsApp from who she thought was her daughter. The victim mistakenly believed it was again ok to resume using WhatsApp to communicate. In the conversation, her daughter had her believe that she had recently dropped her smart phone in a toilet, and needed $1800 to purchase a new one. The fraudster directed the victim to purchase nine Vanilla pre-paid Mastercards at gas stations and at Wal-Mart.

Once the cards were purchased, the victim send the ten-digit codes from each card through WhatsApp. The fraudster then tried to convince her to send more money. Only then did the victim realize she was being scammed and broke off communication. She then reported the scam to the police.

The clerk at each location warned her that it appeared she was being scammed. The victim, however; overlooked the warning signs because in her mind, she was simply helping her daughter out of a bind, said R/Cst Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.

To learn more about frauds and scams, go to the Canadian Anti -Fraud Centre


Released by

Cst. Gary O'Brien

Media Relations Officer
Nanaimo RCMP
303 Prideaux St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2N3
Office: 250-755-4460 Ext. 4533
Cell: 250-713-0701
Fax: 250-755-3238


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