RCMP media relations officer Pam Bolton. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

RCMP media relations officer Pam Bolton. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Cowichan resident warns of paper mail fraud

Police warn not to send money, personal information

The Valley’s Pat Bredl knew immediately that the letter she received was a fraud.

The senior said she occasionally receives phone calls from questionable people claiming she owes money for some reason, or is eligible to receive large quantities of cash and she should send her personal banking information so she could receive it.

But last week was the first time she has actually received a fraudulent letter in the mail.

The letter claims to be from Marcus Woodford, an accountant with the Switzerland-based MC Accounting.

He said he received Bredl’s contact information when going through an old file of a deceased client, William Bredi, a Canadian he claims passed away five years ago.

The first thing Bredl noted was that the name in the letter was Bred “i”, not Bred “l”.

RELATED STORY: DUNCAN MAN WARNS OF ESCALATING PHONE SCAM

The letter writer said William Bredi left millions of dollars but had no will or beneficiary so he is looking for a relative to give the money to.

“You bear the same last name as him,” the letter said. “All arrangements on how to secure the unclaimed funds have been put in place.”

The letter writer goes on to ask Bredl for personal information so he can begin the process of sending her the money, and asked for her “utmost privacy” in this matter.

Bredl said the fact that the letterhead indicated that the accounting firm was in Switzerland, while the address on the envelope was in Ontario also raised her suspicions about the letter.

“I called the RCMP and they gave me a number for a fraud line,” she said. “I called the fraud line and was told that unless I actually lost money, they couldn’t handle my complaint because they were too busy dealing with complaints from those who lost money.”

RELATED STORY: ANOTHER PHONE SCAM HIST THE COWICHAN VALLEY

RCMP Const. Pam Bolton said the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment receives many reports of frauds throughout the year, whether it comes via email, telephone or letter.

She said there isn’t one form of communication that is being reported more than another.

“In all cases of scams, we advise them to contact the Anti Fraud Centre and/or Equifax, depending on if any information was provided to the ‘company’ or person involved,” Bolton said.

“We like to remind the public that if something seems suspicious about the call/email/letter, it probably is suspicious. Don’t provide any information to them. Don’t follow any links. Never send money without consulting someone whether it be a relative, friend or even your bank.”

People looking for more information about questionable emails, phone calls or other possible fraudulent activities should visit the Canada Fraud Centre’s website.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read