WINNIPEG — A senior citizen was nearly duped out of $1,000 after falling victim to a common scam involving gift cards.
Police on foot patrol in downtown Winnipeg were approached by an employee of a retail business in the area just before noon on February 26. The employee was with a woman who was on her cell phone with the suspected scammer who told her to purchase $1,000 in Google Play cards to remedy her tax situation or she would be arrested.
The woman purchased the cards from the retail store and was in the process of turning over the activation codes when an officer intervened. He spoke to the scammer and informed him he was a Winnipeg police officer.
Police say the suspect told the officer: “I don’t care who you are; this transaction is between her and me. Put her back on the phone.” The suspect then hung up.
It was later learned the victim had also provided her banking information and PINs to the person.
Officers walked the victim to her nearby bank and explained the situation to the assistant manager, who was able to freeze the victim’s accounts and change passwords. The victim’s accounts weren’t compromised.
The victim was also refunded the $1,000 after the retail manager contacted Google Play.
Police are warning the public that no legitimate agency will contact you by phone and ask for payments in gift cards or request banking information. To report fraudulent activity and keep up-to-date on the latest scams, visit antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.