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Request for bail money new scam

RCMP warn of fraudulent phone call from ‘Officer Miller’
By Jesse Ferreras

Whistler has been no stranger to fraud in recent months.
Most reported incidents have surrounded housing – or a lack thereof – when aspiring Whistler residents have looked a little more closely at those peddling a place to live.
But there’s a new fraudster in town, according to the Whistler RCMP.
The Mounties got three separate calls on Jan. 9, all of them reports of attempted fraud. Each of the callers themselves were contacted by a male calling himself “Officer Miller, badge #3625.” He asked all three of them separately to wire between $3,000 and $3,800 in bail money to the Wal-Mart in Squamish.
The fraudster said this, despite the fact that there’s no Officer Miller in any Sea to Sky Detachment. As well, RCMP badge numbers are five digits, not four.
“What they did was they called somebody, they called three people and said, ‘Your relative has been picked up and needs money for bail,'” said Sgt. Steve LeClair with the Whistler RCMP.
None of the prospective victims were taken in by Officer Miller’s story. They all contacted the RCMP, which has said that police “will not call” relatives of people in jail to solicit bail money.
“Police certainly don’t start calling relatives saying, you need to get some money together to raise bail for your loved one who’s being held in custody,” LeClair said.
“If the Justice of the Peace said they’ll be released on $500 bail, then the person would raise that money, either by having somebody go to a bank machine for them or coming up with the cash and bringing it to a police station for them to be held in trust.”
Thus far the police haven’t turned up any leads or made any arrests in connection with this incident, but LeClair said they believe it’s an isolated one. Anyone who has information regarding this attempted fraud is encouraged to contact the Whistler RCMP at 604-932-3044.
In other instances of attempted fraud, people have posted housing opportunities online in a bid to scam money from people needing places to live.
In one instance, an employee at Whistler’s Camp of Champions saw a Craigslist posting for a three-bedroom suite in Creekside. He contacted the landlord, who said he was in Nigeria on a “Christian mission.”
The prospective renter was then asked to wire money via Western Union to a man named Lucas Adeyemo in Sango Ota, Nigeria, a man whose name came up online in connection with “puppy fraud” schemes.
The renter visited the suite mentioned in the posting and discovered people living there. The occupants had no idea about any landlord on a Christian mission.

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January 27, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

1 Comment »

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