View Royal job hunter defrauded in online scam

Police advise caution in third-party online transactions

A young View Royal resident has been scammed out of nearly $2,000 after she cashed a fraudulent cheque last week.

The woman had posted an advertisement online looking for work and was contacted by a person from California offering to pay her in advance. The scammer mailed a cheque and asked that after the woman deposited it, she send a portion of the money to another recipient via Moneygram.

The bank later informed the victim the cheque was fraudulent after she had already transferred the funds to the second party.

West Shore RCMP would not release any identifying details about the victim except that she is under 18.

Const. Alex Berube said there is no way for the woman to recoup her losses.

“It’s different when your credit card gets scammed. The credit card companies will do their own investigation and it does not affect your credit,” he said. “People think sometimes that their bank will refund the money that they’ve been scammed, but when it comes out of your own account, there’s no way for them to do that.”

This particular scam is an isolated incident, and a reminder to the public to be ever-vigilant regarding online security.

“It’s a continued battle to stress the importance to the public to do their research,” Berube said. “Make sure it’s a reputable person or company. Be aware of who you’re dealing with online.”

Anyone who believes they’ve been a victim of identity theft or fraud should contact the Canadian Antifraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or sending an email to info@antifraudcentre.ca, and call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com