An unanticipated evening phone call becomes a cause for concern when the caller tells you your credit card has been used without your knowledge.
So begins one of the more recent telephone scams RCMP in B.C. have been warning the public about.
The person on the other end of the line tells you they are with your credit card company’s security department, and they calmly go through a seemingly sensible series of safety protocols. They ask you if you made the purchase. They ask you for your home address and, to prove you still have the card, for the three security numbers on the back. They make assurances that your card will be credited for the loss and tell you to call the 1-800 number on the back of the card if you have any further questions.
Susan Leippi, with the Salmon Arm Seniors’ Resource Centre, said a variation of this scam involves the call supposedly being transferred before the caller is to provide their personal information. A dial tone is heard but the same caller quietly remains on the line.
“Quite a few of our seniors have been hit with phone call (scams). Some have been aware, some haven’t, some have lost some money to it,” said Leippi.
To better equip Shuswap residents for such scams, be they through the telephone or computer, the resource centre, the Seniors’ Drop-in Centre and the Fifth Avenue Seniors’ Activity Centre are hosting a public information meeting: Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Informed to avoid scams and fraud. Presenters include representatives from the Salmon Arm RCMP and victim services, who will talk about the types of scams out there, ways to respond and what you can do if you’ve been the victim of one.
“Because we’re a seniors’ resource centre we want to make sure our seniors are aware but it’s for everybody. These scams are hitting everybody,” said Leippi.
The meeting takes place at 3 p.m. on May 30 at the Salmar Classic.