Be aware of holiday heartstring scams
December 6, 2018, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia . . . Kings District RCMP have been receiving reports of holiday heartstring scams surfacing throughout Kings County. With the holidays approaching, the Nova Scotia RCMP are advising the public to be aware of these scams in the event they are happening elsewhere in the province.
Scammers continue to impersonate the Canada Revenue Agency, RCMP and other agencies by asking for money or face being arrested, however, heartstring scams can be common at this time of year. These involve scammers using tactics to pull at victim’s heartstrings and emotions. Here are a few to be on the lookout for:
Grandparent Scam: Scammers contact victims claiming to be a grandchild in trouble. They may ask the grandparent to guess who it is before identifying themselves as that name before asking the grandparent to send money and not tell anyone.
Loss of Family Member Scam: Scammers use the obituaries to contact their victims who have recently lost a loved one, claiming the deceased had unpaid bills or debts that need to be paid right away.
Love Interest Scam: Scammers meet their victims online or in person and express romantic interest. They will often earn the victim’s trust through ongoing communication before attempting to gain access to personal and financial information. They may ask for a quick “emergency loan” to pay a bill or their rent. These types of scams often end in financial loss and a broken heart.
Here are a few tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- Never wire money to anyone unless you have confirmed their identity.
- Keep cell phone numbers for your children and grandchildren somewhere you can easily locate them.
- Arrange to have a trusted family member or friend handle all financial matters in the days following the loss of a loved one.
- Keep your personal and financial documents locked at home in a safe place – do not carry them with you or share them with anyone.
- Share this information with your loved ones to protect them from being a victim.
If you or a family member has fallen victim to a scam, report it to your local police, as well as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) by phone at 1-888-495-8501 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) or online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.