Online scam involving ads for home-stay students costs almost $5000.00!

Back in April, a Saanich resident placed an ad in Used Victoria for a home stay student. A short time later an email was received to rent the room on behalf of a 19 year old visiting student.

Then, after multiple email exchanges, the introduction of a third party intermediary, a cheque for too much money and a purported family death, the home-stay student never arrived.

The victim, was then convinced that the cheque, which was apparently in the mail, was needed back to cover ‘burial’ expenses. Being of a trusting nature, the victim sent $4800 dollars by Western Union to the U.K.

Of course, when the cheque was received and deposited into the victim’s bank, it was returned as a forgery. Be wary of any of these ‘over-payment’ types of scams which can take many forms.

A second scam recently investigated involved a caller who portrayed an employee of Microsoft. The caller convinced the victim that there was something wrong with their computer and asked them to sit at the computer and answer some questions.

Then after fulfilling a series of requests over the phone and on the home computer, the victim became convinced there was something wrong with the machine.

Then the victim is offered ‘repair software’ over the internet in exchange for a Pay-Pal deposit. The exchange was made and it appears there was no repair software.

The victim quickly contacted the Saanich Police and the card company who reversed the charges immediately.

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