Richmond Mounties warn public about calls involving fraudsters posing as police

Mounties in Richmond are warning the public about fraudsters calling victims and posing as police officers demanding money.

Between March 1 and April 8, the RCMP says it received seven reports of criminals posing as Chinese police or government officials who demand money from victims.

Scammers made off with more than $1.1 million of the victims’ money. In only three of the reports, no money was sent.

“These fraudsters can be very convincing,” said Sergeant Dave Au of the Richmond Organized Crime Unit.

“They employ various tactics to trick people, including spoofing legitimate phone numbers, or making threats of police action if payment is not made. Ultimately, they have one objective: to get your money.”

Media relations officer Corp. Adriana O’Malley says these types of scams continue to pop up in the community, and people continue to fall prey to them.

“These frauds can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on the victims, which is why we continue to issue these public warnings in the hope of preventing further victimization,” O’Malley said.

Mounties say that if someone calling is claiming to be a police officer and asking for payment, would-be victims should immediately hang up and report incidents to the real police. This includes cases in which scammers are asking for Bitcoin, Google Play, or iTunes gift cards as a method of payment.

With files from Maria Vinca.