Monday, May 11, 2015

RCMP warn of a number of scams in region

Spring it would seem is bringing out the scam artists to the Northwest in fairly heavy numbers of late, with local detachments of the RCMP warning residents of a string of schemes designed to make us part with our money.

Terrace RCMP have alerted residents to three scams currently making their way around that community.

The first involves phone calls where those with ill intent are taking advantage of the recent tax season deadline, with the scammers calling residents stating that they are from Canada Revenue. The then advise the target that they recently tried to contact the person by way of sending someone to their door, but no answer was received.

The caller then seeks to solicit personal information over the phone, advising that they have a file on the subject and that they will call the RCMP unless information is not provided.

More on the Revenue Canada scam can be reviewed here

The second scam of recent weeks in the Terrace area has local residents being called by someone who claims that they are from BC Hydro advising that their power will be cut off unless the resident purchased a pre loaded credit card. The RCMP contacted the number of the purported BC Hydro employee and determined that he was not involved with the company in any capacity.

The final incident of telephone scamming in the Terrace area comes through what is known as the Lottery scam, where residents have been contacted to be told that they have won a lottery prize and in order to retrieve the money they are required to send credit card information first.  In one instance of that scam a woman has lost thousands of dollars.

For background on those two scams see this item from the Terrace RCMP

In Prince Rupert the local detachment is investigating a fairly sophisticated Cyber Scam which has found a local company as the target. with a malware program identified as Crypto Wall 3.0 embedded into the contents of an email which was titled Resume Douglas Chandler.

The local resident inadvertently released the malware by opening the resume unleashing the malware virus which then delivered a file that encrypted all of the company's databases.

The next instruction was through a file called Help_Decrypt which directed the user to a personal Internet site on an anonymous network, where the user was provided with information that their files could be decrypted for 500 US Dollars, to be paid in Bitcoins. The targeted user was also advised that the deadline for compliance was March 31st after which the cost to decrypt the files would double ever 160 hours.

“As this virus appears to be very sophisticated and attacks computer databases the Prince Rupert RCMP want to warn the community of this incident ... In the event any community members or companies encounter similar circumstances pertaining to their computers we are asking users not to open the email or any associated programs, and to contact police.”  -- Cst. Matt Ericson spokesman for the Prince Rupert RCMP Detachment with background on a current computer scam in the community

More information related to the CryptoWall investigation can be found here.

Should anyone have any information related to any of the scams, they are asked to contact the Prince Rupert Detachment of the RCMP at 250-627-0700 or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

For more items related to the work of emergency services in the Northwest see our archive page here.

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