Oliver man warns others of scam

Oliver man warns others of scam


Scam artists are getting more clever with each ruse they come up with.
That’s what Oliver resident Elroy Pankratz learned recently when someone tried to bilk him of $1,500. And they almost succeeded.
It all started when Pankratz received an email from his cousin, Jerrold Duerksen, a world traveller. Duerksen said he was in Spain with his family when they suffered a mugging on their way back to the hotel.
“They stole all our cash, credits cards and cellphone, but thank God we still have our lives and passports safe,” he explained in the email.
Duerksen said he reported the incident to police and contacted the consulate for help. “Our return flight leaves soon . . . I need you to help me out with a fast loan to settle our bills so we can get back home. All I need is $2,000. I’ll refund the money as soon as I get back.”
Pankratz noted that the odd spelling of Duerksen was correct, so that provided some legitimacy to the email. It was agreed that Pankratz would send $1,500 to Duerksen via Western Union. But after his bank questioned the transaction, Pankratz decided to investigate further. He phoned Duerksen and found out he wasn’t in Spain, but at home in Colorado.
Pankratz immediately called Western Union to cancel the money order, and luckily was able to stop the transfer. He was told that once a transfer is started, you only have 15 minutes to stop it.
While Pankratz breathed a sigh of relief that he saved $1,500, he was embarrassed about almost being duped. He agreed that Internet fraud can take you by surprise if you’re not wary.
Many people have received calls from so-called relatives needing money for emergencies. Experts say the best thing to do is hang up and call the relative back to verify the story.
Pankratz said his wife received such a call from her grandson. When she questioned him further about his identity, the caller hung up.
In the latest scam reported by the RCMP, a Vernon resident was solicited by a female caller seeking donations via credit card for the “Cops for Kids” charity. The woman claimed to be having troubles with her computer and handed off the call to her “boss” who attempted to complete the transaction and advised the victim that it would not appear on her credit card statement as “Cops for Kids.”
The victim became suspicious and called police. She also contacted her credit card security department and canceled her card immediately.
The RCMP reminds the public that the RCMP and the Cops for Kids foundation do not participate in any type of fundraising through phone calls.

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