Media Releases

A Saanich resident is out thousands of dollars after a scam involving Publishers Clearing House.

In January the victim was contacted by phone advising that they had won a prize of $75,000 through the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. They were then requested to send money to them to cover the costs of taxes and legal fees, after which the prize money would then be sent to them. Over the following few weeks, an individual attended the victim’s home and collected money in excess of $26,000. When the victim realized the prize money had yet to show up, they became suspicious and reported it to the police. 

While this scam is not a new one, these types of “Prize” frauds have resulted in the loss of over $3.7 million last year in Canada alone. (Source: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre)

We are reminding the public of the following:

  • Never send money to collect a prize. If they ask you to pay, it’s a scam.

  • Never deposit a cheque and then send money back, even if the funds appear in your account. This is a clear sign of a scam.

  • Never provide your personal banking information to anyone over the phone. If they ask, it’s a scam.

  • Always report scams and frauds to the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

  • Spread the word and educate family, friends, neighbours and co-workers on these scams. Your actions might prevent someone else from becoming a victim.

 

 

Cst. Markus Anastasiades

Public Information and Communications Officer

Detectives with the Saanich Police General Investigative Section are confirming that they are investigating the fire at Island Outfitters last month as an arson.

On January 4, 2020, just after 6:30 am Saanich Fire and Saanich Police were notified of a fire burning at the rear of Island Outfitters located at 3319 Douglas Street. Once extinguished, both Saanich Fire Investigators and Saanich Police Detectives remained on scene to investigate the cause of the fire.

Fortunately, the store was closed at the time of the fire so nobody was injured, however, the damage it caused to the inside of the building was extensive.

Investigators have now determined that the fire was deliberately set and as such, an arson investigation is underway. To protect the integrity of this open and active investigation, no further information will be released at this time.

 

Cst. Markus Anastasiades

Public Information and Communications Officer

On Thursday January 30, 2020 at 1:15 pm Saanich Police were called to James Houlihan Park off Ferndale Road as witnesses had observed an SUV doing doughnuts in the field. The SUV then got stuck in the mud and the three occupants were seen leaving abandoning the vehicle and leaving the area on foot. A witness was able to provide an excellent description of all three suspects.

Police officers attended the area and were able to locate and arrest all three occupants walking nearby. The 1990 Toyota 4Runner turned out to be stolen from Victoria and was reported as such this morning by its owner.

The driver of the vehicle caused approximately $2,000 in damage to the field and has been towed from the scene. All three, two men and a woman, are facing charges of Mischief Under $5,000 and Possession of Stolen Property Under $5,000.


Saanich Police will work with the Victoria Police to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the theft of this vehicle.

“We don’t know at this point why they decided to drive into the field, but the actions they took were certainly very foolish and reckless nature. We would like to thank the witnesses who provided detailed information that helped us locate the individuals responsible.”

 

Cst. Markus Anastasiades

Public Information and Communications Officer

20 2244

Saanich Police File 20-2244

Victoria Police File 20-4653

A cab driver was arrested yesterday afternoon for assault after confronting a pedestrian walking in the Tillicum Shopping Centre.

Officers attended the mall at 4:11 pm on Tuesday February 5th 2020 to investigate a call of an assault in progress. They were able to locate and speak to both men involved in the incident.

It is believed that the pedestrian was about to enter a crosswalk in the mall when a taxi suddenly turned in front of him. The pedestrian yelled at the taxi, which then stopped and the driver got out. Some further yelling back and forth ensued and escalated up to the driver pushing the pedestrian to the ground.


The driver was arrested at the scene and later released with a promise to appear in court in March. The victim was taken to the hospital by ambulance and released with minor injuries.

“The investigation is on-going and any witnesses that may have seen the incident are encouraged to contact the Saanich Police.”

 

 

Cst. Markus Anastasiades

Public Information and Communications Officer

On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, a senior citizen called to report that she believed someone had tried to scam her over the phone.

The scammer said that he was with the Regional Health Authority and was talking to seniors in the community about vitamin pills and the many benefits of vitamins. He then recommended that she purchase some natural vitamin B products.

Savvy and now aware that this was likely a scam, she told him “aren’t all vitamins natural?” The scammer then hung up.

The caller was described as a male with a very strong accent and called from a 289 phone extension traced back to Hamilton, ON. On call back, the phone number was out of service and an online query showed this phone number was related to similar scams where the caller reported to be from the Regional Health Authority,

Island Health confirmed that they do not contact people to sell products over the phone and encourages anyone who receives this type of solicitation to notify police.

While this 90-year-old senior was too clever for this scammer and did not provide him with any personal or banking information, she called the Saanich Police in an appeal to warn other seniors who might fall victim to this type of scam.

 

For any attempted scam/fraud, area residents that have not lost any money and have not provided personal or financial information (relating to a fraud or scam), who simply want to inform the appropriate organizations, can report it to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC) by calling 1-888-495-8501.

Further information for how to protect yourself from scammers can be found here:

https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/phone/telemarketing/fraud.htm

 

 

Cst. Markus Anastasiades

Public Information and Communications Officer

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